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Hedy Lamarr's Double Life

Author: Laurie Wallmark
Lower Age: 5
Upper Age: 10
Price: $16.95
Year Added: 2020
Amazon URL:
"To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star, widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor."

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life is a book for children ages 5 to 10 written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu.


Readers learn about the true story of Hedy’s double life and how she thrived as both a world-renowned actress and an inventor who developed communication technology still in use today. The book discusses the struggles Hedy faced as an inventor and how she was ignored due to being seen as naught but a beautiful actress. A quote from Hedy claims that people often assumed that, because she was beautiful, she was also dumb. She had to work very hard to prove her intelligence. Hedy overcame the stereotypes of the era and doubts that others had towards her and helped develop a revolutionary communication technology. The technology she helped develop inspired the communication technology we use today in devices such as phones and computers.

While reading Hedy’s story, children learn the value of perseverance and pushing beyond boundaries in engineering. The book also explores problem-solving and critical thinking through Hedy’s design process and invention. Hedy serves as an excellent role model for young girls interested in engineering by breaking past the stereotypical gender norms and forging her own path. Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life is an excellent book for young readers to learn about a true engineer’s story and her incredible contributions to technology.

Framework Categories

Engineering Design Process
Apply Science, Engineering, Mathematics Knowledge
Engineering Thinking
Issues, Solutions, and Impacts

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S.  (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and developmentJournal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.

One reviewer said,

"The book very deeply addresses the entire design process from her learning about the problem though creating and troubleshooting a process to solve the problem. The technology for the frequency-hopping spread system that she and colleague created is explained extremely well in terms that younger readers can likely understand. The story also had a great inspirational message about how a person can have many very different talents. Hedy Lamarr was both a genius inventor as well as a world famous actress."

A reviewer's recommendation

"It is a great gift and teaches one the importance of team work and perseverance. It encourages one to follow their dream and think outside the box."