As a girl growing up in Clintonville, Cheryl Bardoe frequently went to Cover to Cover to buy children's books.

On Aug. 5, Bardoe returned to Cover to Cover -- now under new ownership and relocated to Upper Arlington -- not to purchase a book but to promote one, her latest.

Bardoe, who now lives in Connecticut with her math teacher husband and their two children, was completing a nationwide tour to boost awareness of her fifth nonfiction work for young readers, "Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain."

Her other books are "Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle," "Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age," "Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas" and "The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur."

Bardoe, who studied journalism at Northwestern University after graduating from Columbus Alternative High School, said she tried her hand at different writing disciplines, including public relations, before a class on crafting children's books helped her "find my voice."

During a visit with her parents, Robert and Shirley Carpenter, who still live in the home in which she grew up, Bardoe spoke of how the children's book publishing world involves a collaborative effort among the author, editor, illustrator and art director -- particularly for nonfiction works such as hers.

"It's something bigger than one person can create," she said. "I think I have a very accessible voice. That's something that journalism helps teach you.

"Bringing a literary quality to nonfiction for children is really important in expanding their horizon."

Shirley Carpenter, a retired math and science teacher, practically expected her daughter to grow up to be a writer.

"I'm not surprised," Carpenter said. "When she was younger she made up a lot of stories ... made a lot of booklets and poetry. She always had a way with words and an extensive vocabulary."

When Bardoe's first book was published, Shirley Carpenter sent her a box filled with those early writings.

That's the sort of thing moms do.

Bardoe said she is especially pleased to be promoting the book about Sophie Germain, who was born in Paris during the French Revolution. Bardoe's husband, Matthew, brought Sophie Germain's existence to the attention of his wife.

Germain was a French philosopher, physicist and mathematician. According to the website famous-mathematicians.org, "Despite initial opposition from her family and the society, she managed to gain education from books in her father's library. Due to prejudice against her gender, Germain was never able to make a career out of mathematics. However, she did work independently throughout her life."

"They didn't even think girls could become mathematicians," Bardoe said. "I think it's an important story for today because it's important for people to see role models in all fields"

Germain, who was born in Paris on April 1, 1776, and died from breast cancer at age 55, became the first woman to win a prize from the Royal Academy of Sciences in France, Bardoe said.

"It's a really great story," she said. "It's a story that should be celebrated and people should know about it."

"I'm amazed by it," Shirley Carpenter said of Germain's life. "Not a lot of young people would have that vision. Women have been sadly overlooked.

"I do believe it's an area that does need attention, and I'm just proud of (my daughter)."

Bardoe, whose next book is due out in January and deals with the early history of China, was accompanied on the promotional tour for "Nothing Stopped Sophie" by her 15-year-old son, Ethan, and daughter Amelia, 11.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1