Nothing Stopped Sophie

The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain


By Cheryl Bardoe

Illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 12, 2018. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The true story of eighteenth-century mathematician Sophie Germain, who solved the unsolvable to achieve her dream.

When her parents took away her candles to keep their young daughter from studying math…nothing stopped Sophie. When a professor discovered that the homework sent to him under a male pen name came from a woman…nothing stopped Sophie. And when she tackled a math problem that male scholars said would be impossible to solve…still, nothing stopped Sophie.

For six years, Sophie Germain used her love of math and her undeniable determination to test equations that would predict patterns of vibrations. She eventually became the first woman to win a grand prize from France's prestigious Academy of Sciences for her formula, which laid the groundwork for much of modern architecture (and can be seen in the book's illustrations).

Award-winning author Cheryl Bardoe's inspiring and poetic text is brought to life by acclaimed artist Barbara McClintock's intricate pen-and-ink, watercolor, and collage illustrations in this true story about a woman who let nothing stop her.


  • A Bank Street College Best Children's Book of 2018

    n Amelia Bloomer List Selection 2019

    A National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Children's Book Council (CBC) Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12

    A National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Best STEM Book
    A National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Recommended Book

    CCBC Choices 2019

    A Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Selection 2019

    2019 Mathical Award Winner, Grades K-2

    A Booklinks Lasting Connections Pick
    An Evanston Public Library Best Book for Kids
  • "Masterly... a superb picture book biography."
    The Wall Street Journal
  • "Refreshingly, Sophie Germain's story not only reminds us of the importance of perseverance, it recalls a time when discoveries were often made by hard-working amateurs--for the fun of it."
    The New York Times
  • * "The truly a sight to behold.... A highly recommended choice."
    School Library Journal, starred review
  • * "A compelling biography...a lesson in perseverance.... A highly recommended addition to the growing number of books about women who have made significant contributions to knowledge."
    School Library Connection, starred review
  • "Bardoe writes with precision and expert pacing.... [And] what McClintock accomplishes here is also a thing of wonder.... It's a remarkable story in an elegantly packaged piece of nonfiction.... Truly inspiring."
    Julie Danielson, 7 Impossible Things
  • "Bardoe and McClintock have...gone into new territory, tried new artistic techniques, and brought to life ideas that until now have never been displayed in this way in a biography for kids.... I love this book."
    Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
  • "This portrait of a quiet heroine is elegant, striking, and sure to inspire."
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "Graceful and inspiring portrait of the plucky, self-taught mathematician."
    The Horn Book
  • "Bardoe's text is concise and clear, right down to kid-tailored explanations of Sophie's mathematical pursuits. McClintock's line and watercolor scenes are an engaging meld of literal scene-setting and whimsical mathematical symbolism."
  • "Engaging.... Inspiring."
  • "McClintock's scenes of 18th-century France are infused with a golden glow; numbers loom along city streets and burst from Germain's quill pen. Bardoe concludes this warm biography by emphasizing how later mathematicians built upon Germain's work."
    Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Jun 12, 2018
Page Count
40 pages

Cheryl Bardoe

About the Author

Cheryl Bardoe is the author of Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, an ALA Notable book, and an IRA Notable book; Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, a Bank Street Best Children’s Books selection, and a Junior Library Guild selection; and The Ugly Duckling Dino. She lives in Chicago with her family.

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Barbara McClintock

About the Illustrator

Barbara McClintock has illustrated over forty books for children including My Grandfather’s Coat, The Gingerbread Man, and her own highly acclaimed Adèle and Simon series. Her books have been honored five times as New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books, among many other awards, citations, and starred reviews. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, the artist David Johnson.

Learn more about this illustrator