What do readers say about Ada & Zangemann?
Tech media and interested individuals have shared their reviews about Ada & Zangemann - A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream.
"A rousing tale of self-reliance, community and standing up to bullies, no matter how powerful they may be."
Cory Doctorow - Sci-fi author
"Introduces readers young and old to the power and peril of software. It also highlights the accelerating effects of sharing software freely - creating conditions for direct and indirect collaboration which can be a metaphor for the conduct of science. Behind it all is a backdrop of ethics of knowledge sharing upon which the arc of human history rides."
Vint Cerf - Computer Scientist and one of the inventors of the internet
"I love this book and I love that it can be shared and translated and adapted easily because licensed freely under a Creative Commons license (BY-SA)."
Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, Founder Creative Commmons
"I am really pleased with Ada & Zangemann. It is very important for the world to understand that ‘the right to tinker’ and ‘the right to repair’ are essential to the development of future generations. I started out tinkering with radio and electronics at an early age when all electronic equipment came with a schematic diagram. Recently, almost everything is built out of mostly opaque parts, running opaque software. I want future scientists and engineers to be able to build stuff and modify the software, with friends, in the way that I did.”
Gerald Jay Sussman, Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT
"A fun children's tale about a very adult issue.”
Bruce Schneier, security technologist, lecturer, and author
"Ada & Zangemann proves that the argument for software and hardware freedom is simple: We should be able to do what we want with our stuff. . . . Electronics freedom means more learning and less waste, as Ada shows. Kids and adults alike will be entertained by this book, charmed by its illustrations, and inspired by Ada’s engineering spirit and impassioned activism."
Elizabeth Chamberlain, Director of Sustainability, iFixit
"Ada & Zangemann is not only a utopian and charming story about Free Software and computers, but it is one about self-empowerment and also about joy in technology. . . . it may well be an eye-opener for adults, too."
Dr. Constanze Kurz, Spokesperson, Chaos Computer Club (CCC)
“[T]he book [is] actually more than a fairy tale about software, skateboards and pyramid-shaped ice cream with coloured sprinkles. It is a motivation for the first demo and a little bit of civil disobedience. It is a utopia of possibilities to make the world better with limited means and little money, and an example without moralistic finger-pointing, that control does not make happy.”
Anna Biselli, Editor-in-Chief Netzpolitik.org
"This book illustrates the power of free and open source software in a way that's both fun and accessible."
Chris Wright, CTO and open source technologist
"It's a hit -- in the first week my kid has read this book 3 or 4 times already, and says this book explains my work on software freedom finally in a way that's easily understandable."
Karen Sandler, Executive Director, Software Freedom Conservancy
"This book is the story of a collective liberation initiated by a curious and inspiring little girl. It’s the story of a digital world that empowers rather than alienating. But this book also has a beautiful story. The authors of the original version have placed it under a free license. In this case, copyright is no longer “all rights reserved”, but allows the work to be used, modified and shared. This choice encourages the circulation of the work, which is how I discovered the existence of Ada & Zangemann. This choice also favors translations of the work, which gave me the idea of a collaborative educational project for its French translation. More than a hundred students, aged 13 to 19, translated the book from German into French, sharing the work and coordinating digitally. Well done to them! And thanks to their teachers and to ADEAF (Association for the development of German language teaching in France) for making this possible. At the Ministry, we support the development of digital commons as part of our digital education and digital literacy missions. The theme of this book and its young translators are a remarkable example."
Alexis Kauffmann, Project manager for free software and educational resources at the French Ministry of Education and Youth, and founder of Framasoft.
"At the end of the book, the eyes of my 6-year old child gleamed with joy at the idea of a liberated, now almighty ice cream machine. Such is the spark that Ada & Zangemann can ignite in children of all ages. We need young generations to share Ada's enthusiasm, in order to take back control of everyday technology."
Stefano Zacchiroli, Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Paris, co-founder of Software Heritage, former Debian Project Leader
"Together with illustrator Sandra Brandstätter, the author has succeeded in creating a technoid fairy tale with a contemporary moral"
"Ada & Zangemann tells an exciting story that will delight children and adults alike. IT describes the problems of the current tech oligopolies and how people can overcome them if they stick together and dare. The text is ingeniously complemented by the illustrations, which almost pass for a hidden object book."
Christoph Hellwig, Developer kernel Linux
"Even as a non-child, I was captivated by the story from the first page to the last. Kudos to the author for packaging difficult topics such as monopolies, lobbyism, digital divide, software freedom, digital autonomy, IoT, consumer control, e-waste and much more in a child-friendly form in an easily understandable and exciting storyline."
Jörg Luther, chief editor of the German Linux-Magazin, LinuxUser, Raspberry Pi Geek.
"The IT fairy tale we need"
"I . . . appreciated how [Ada & Zangemann] took a traditional children's morality tale format and modernized it with practical hardware/software ethics in a relatable way, but not in a way that made you feel preached to or talked down to. Would recommend!"
Kyle Rankin, Author and President of Purism
"After my son was read the book last night, he told me the whole story this morning... He wants to make something out of old pallets after school today. And then he wants to learn programming."
Ingo Wichmann, CEO Linuxhotel GmbH
"Especially in this day and age, the question of how to deal with software and in particular how to use it is everywhere. Matthias Kirschner and Sandra Brandstaetter capture the spirit of our time and bring a highly topical, technically relevant subject to children."
Catharina Maracke, Chair of the Board, Open Source Initiative
"What a fun read! I recognize myself in Ada at many moments. All I know about computers is thanks to Free Software, the internet, and the willingness of others to share their knowledge as Ada did."
Isabela Fernandes, Executive Director, The Tor project
"Explaining what we do is challenging at times, but this book does so gracefully. I'm sure this cute little story will help both kids and many parents about technological empowerment."
Aleix Pol, Hacker, KDE e.V. President
"This book is *really* good."
padeluun, Artist and co-founder of Digitalcourage
"The story is attractively illustrated by S. Brandstätter (...), didactically well structured and very suitable as a basis for discussion, e.g. in primary school. A successful addition to all children's IT collections."
ekz Information Service, February 2022
“In this hopeful story Ada and her friends join a movement that started back in 1983. Their courageous adventure of software freedom and learning how technology works is a wonderful way to introduce young people everywhere to the joys of tinkering!”
Zoë Kooyman, Executive Director, Free Software Foundation
"A cute story which resonates with kids and adults alike. The freedom to use *your* hardware and software as you see fit is a core ingredient in any technological society."
Andrew Lewman, Freedom and Privacy Advocate, Chairman of Each One Teach One
"I hope this will influence young people, and especially those who feel 'I can not do that' to take that first step into the community of Open Source software, hardware and culture."
Jon "maddog" Hall, Board Chair, Linux Professional Institute
"An elegant if not joyful solution to helping children and their parents understand the fundamental concepts of the freedom of expression, creation, collaboration and individual contribution free and open source software represents."
Deborah Bryant, Board Director Emeritus, Open Source Initiative
"A truly lovable story with wonderful illustrations, to teach both kids and adults what free software and open standards mean. . . ."
Florian Effenberger, Executive Director, The Document Foundation
"This book possesses the magic we love in stories and a storyline that will spur the wonder and joy of what’s possible when curiosity turns into action. . . . Read this book and share it."
Bonnie Kirkley, I Heart STEAM
"A book that helps kids understand that the world doesn’t just happen, it is made, and that growing up is about figuring out how to pitch in and make it better."
Matt Bailey, Civic Hacker and Open Government Advocate
"Inspiring and empowering. An exceedingly relevant techno-fable for the makers, creators and inventors who will grow up to shape our future."
Lee Hollman, Elementary School Technology Teacher
"I think that Ada & Zangemann is a great way to learn about software and tech while also being fun and relating to real world experiences."
Zafyr Rahman, 10-year-old Tech Enthusiast
"The book made me think about technology. And how amazing it is. I'm gonna work to get the government to make a law that says nobody may use non-free software."
Rowan Wolf, 6-year-old Software Freedom Activist
"Such a fun children’s book about getting hands on with tech and the importance of an open ecosystem for development. . . I love the illustration too"
Una Kravets, UI &Tooling Developer Relations Team Lead at Google Chrome
"If you have a child curious about software development, this book might be just the right thing to pique their interest."
Jack Wallen, Linux magazine
"An uplifting parable for our greed- and power-infused times."
Dan Gillmor, Director of News Co/Lab, Arizona State University
"A beautiful tale about software freedom, creativity and resilience. Such a powerful message on what a community can achieve."
Nikos Roussos, Tech Lead, Greenpeace International
"I read this book to my 6-year old child who was drawn by the beautiful illustrations and couldn’t wait to hear the story. It’s been the start of a much-needed conversation on out-of-the-box thinking, digital freedom, and contesting power in the age of surveillance."
Claire Fernandez, Executive Director, European Digital Rights (EDRi)
"The story's engaging illustrations and relatable characters make it easy for children to understand the message, while also serving as a parable for adults who may not have had exposure to these concepts. I highly recommend Ada & Zangemann to parents, teachers, and anyone who wants to inspire the next generation of innovators and tinkerers."
Roberto Di Cosmo, co-founder and director of Software Heritage
"A brilliantly illustrated journey of discovery and resilience that will inspire any young mind to embrace their curiosity and create with technology"
Zach Latta, Founder of Hack Club
"Ada & Zangemann does a great job explaining what open source is and why it matters in a way that is easy to understand no matter what your background is."
Myrle Krantz, Director of Engineering, Grafana Labs
"Reading this with my 7 year old daughter was a joy. Ada exploring her curiosity, taking action, learning, and enjoying her accomplishments are lessons I deeply value and through this book become a delight to empart"
Andy Fitzsimon, Director, Executive Business, SUSE
"Inspiring literature teaching children and adults lessons of ingenuity, adaptation, problem-solving and social affairs all through the lens of software freedom. The social and behavioral implications of this children's book will have a net positive result for current and future generations."
Douglas DeMaio, openSUSE board member
"You got to love a tech savvy heroine who teaches herself to build and code. This is a sweet book with a great message about the social importance of free software and the ability to modify and adapt our own devices."
Mathias Klang, Associate Professor, Fordham University
"A fun book that introduces concept of software and hardware hacking, software freedom, and the need for political advocacy. Also, it's CC-BY-SA!"
Evan Prodromou, board member at CoSocial.ca and founder of WikiTravel, StatusNet, identi.ca, and Fuzzy.ai
"An approachable read that children and politicians alike can understand and hopefully take away some insight into the value of software freedom."
Open Source Tech Training
"A wonderful book that explores the worlds of two very different characters. While their backgrounds and lifestyles couldn't be more different, there is something they both have in common... their love for technology. Ada & Zangemann highlights themes of access, collaboration, and community - and shows how the combination of all three can literally change the world around you."
Angie Jones, inventor and software engineer
"With so much digital technology normalizing surveillance and control, it’s wonderful to see a children’s book show kids that it doesn’t have to be this way. . . . Kirschner does a great job making issues around software rights relevant to young people, while Sandra Brandstätter's whimsical illustrations bring the story to life."
Erin Glass, tech researcher and product manager
"The authors take a complex topic -- software freedom -- and distill it into a narrative that can be consumed by children of all ages. The focus on breaking the monopoly on creativity is especially apt for the post-Web-1.0 generation.."
Walter Bender, Founder Sugar Labs, Lead developer of programming languages for children Turtle Blocks and Music Blocks
"A fun and insightful children's book that cleverly promotes digital citizenship and the value of sharing. . . . Whether read aloud by a parent or guardian or independently by a young reader, this book's engaging narrative and vibrant illustrations are sure to captivate children's imaginations while instilling important values that they can carry with them as they grow (and code)."
Patrick Masson, Executive Director, Apereo Foundation
"I really enjoyed this short kid's book about the joy of tinkering. It's really hard to put these issues into accessible terms, but Matthias Kirschner and Sandra Brandstätter have done a masterful job with this book. All nerds should buy this for their kids and add it to school libraries . . ."
Jim Fruchterman, Founder/CEO at Tech Matters
"The youth at the Elizabeth Peabody House enjoyed the reading of Ada & Zangemann. It was a fun and engaging read; vivid illustrations, colors, and details on each page kept them excited for what came next. The youth could relate to Ada, as they are full of great, creative ideas; that they hope to bring to life too"
Matthew Caughey, Executive Director, The Elizabeth Peabody House
"Not only an enjoyable read for me, but also collected some spontaneous 'This is cool' endorsements from some teenage daughters who were drawn into doing likewise"
Michael Meeks, Open Source Developer and VP Productivity, Collabora
"This is the whole spirit of Free Software and open models: the joyful discovery that we can take our destinies into our own hands, to the point of diverting the course of politics towards a more inclusive, fairer world."
Pierre-Yves Gibello - CEO, OW2 open source association
"A story that comes from the heart and with a message that had to be told. It's a thought provoking tale for adults as well. The story is especially notable for its capturing the nuance of the importance of user freedom in such an accessible way."
David Marr, Open Source Attorney
"This is a clever fable that shows the importance of software freedom in relatable terms. It's great for children of all ages."
Heather Meeker, Open Source Enthusiast
"I truly enjoyed reading 'Ada & Zangemann'. And its playful illustrations. Along the way it playfully relays the idea behind #OpenSource (and #FreeSoftware). Definitely recommended - for yourself, for your nieces and nephews, anyone young at heart."
Gerald Pfeifer, CTO of SUSE
"I loved the book; I found the theme very important and interesting, and the message delighted me (first the resourcefulness of Ada, then the demonstration which unites the whole city, and finally the Parliament which learns from its mistakes). This book is exactly what I want to pass on to my children!"
Canelle A., 18-year-old student translator in a Parisian high school
"A delightful and imaginative exploration of a lot of deeper ideas. My 5-yr-old was drawn in, laughing at the silly parts and marveling at the computers, while I was reflecting on the messages about how easily we tolerate control and lack of freedom"
John Goerzen, programmer and Debian Developer
"This modern tale is a superb parable, and a perfect illustration of the need for digital freedoms in our daily lives. Here we're talking about skateboards and toys, but tomorrow our whole lives may be limited by monopolist technology companies.
I love the format of this book, as I'm a big fan of comics. But above all, the tone is positive, laughing, and optimistic for the future, so that new generations will be stronger than we have been."
JB Kempf, President, VideoLAN
"Technology is for everyone...at least, that's the moral of Ada & Zangemann: A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream by Matthias Kirchner and Sandra Brandstätter. This beautifully written and illustrated story follows a technological revolution that occurs when an inventor becomes enraged by the use of his creations for fun, rather than their intended purposes. Encouraging creative, out-of-the-box engineering thinking, problem-solving, and perseverance, as well as endless tinkering, Kirchner and Brandstätter weave a story that will encourage children to question who owns the technology around them, and why."
A.R. Miller, Purdue Reviewer
"I like how it makes a positive statement that girls can code and use computers."
Child Reviewer, Purdue
"If human intelligence and politics harmonised as they do in this book, our world would be a different one - and certainly a better one. Children to power!"
Elli Mayr, City Councillor for Education, Innsbruck
"I loved the fact that the children took action without the help of their parents, that the government asked the next generation for help to master its information system, and that the toys are being recycled to hack and improve them (circular economy). As a civil servant, it also reminds me of the responsibility that we have. And the drawings are really great!"
Laurent Joubert, Chief Operating Officer, eHealth agency
"A wonderfully entertaining read with an empowering message for younger generations, one which will shape our world and the way we live in it."
Kaye Fogarty, The English International College, Marbella
"This book is a great way to expose people to the concept of software freedom and the concept of privacy and surveillance. I believe it is a great way to advocate for those values in a way I haven’t quite seen before."
Henry Fisher, Techlore
"Ada and Zangemann is a wonderful book which frames the vision of software freedom in a colorful, exciting, and accessible way that should connect to readers of all ages without being overbearing. Ada is a wonderful girl and I hope her spirit of community and freedom is something that young readers will bring to their own lives."
Drew DeVault, CEO SoureHut, Developer of KnightOS, Sway, Aerc, and others