Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Book reading: Ada & Zangemann - A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream

The famous inventor Zangemann lives in a huge villa high above the city. Adults and children alike love his inventions and are desperate to have them. But then something happens: when Zangemann wants to take another close-up look at his inventions during a walk through the city, a child hits him in the shin with the skateboard. That hurts! Enraged, the inventor makes a momentous decision... The clever girl Ada sees through what is going on. Together with her friends, she forges a plan.

This illustrated children's book (licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA) tells the story of the famous inventor Zangemann and the girl Ada, a curious tinkerer. Ada begins to experiment with hardware and software, and in the process realizes how crucial it is for her and others to control technology. Ada & Zangemann will inspire children's interest in tinkering and encourages shaping technology.

"A rousing tale of self-reliance, community, and standing up to freedom is human freedom!" —Cory Doctorow, Sci-Fi Author

"Introduces readers young and old to the power and peril of software. 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

"What a fun read! I recognize myself in Ada at many moments." —Isabela Fernandes, Executive Director, The Tor project

"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

"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

"Ada & Zangemann brings a highly topical, technically relevant subject to children." —Catharina Maracke, Chair of the Board, Open Source Initiative

“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


Photo of Matthias Kirschner Matthias Kirschner