Zaha Hadid dazzles in "Building Zaha"

Cover of Building ZahaZaha Hadid was an explorer and a thinker before she became architect. She explored the mosques and palaces of her home, Baghdad, and the ancient Sumerian wetlands. She wondered if there was a way to have both in one place. Readers will delight in the gorgeous watercolor illustrations that peer into Zaha Hadid's mind as she stretches her mind to combine the modern world with the ancient places of her home. Zaha's passion for the beauty of the earth and the beauty of math is a wonderful way to get kids excited about S.T.E.M. in the real world as well.

The story is well-organized to narrate her life, but younger readers may find the text a little long. This is a great opportunity to ad-lib the story and encourage them to notice the details of the pictures. As you read, you'll discover that Zaha's life is also a great story to talk about staying true to yourself to achieve your goals and perserving when others doubt you. Her determination to succeed shines throughout her story.  She was the first woman and Muslim to win the Pritzker, and the first woman and Muslim to earn the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize.

Of course, Zaha Hadid was a real person. A fun after reading activity is to find the pictures of some of her designs, the real and the drafts, online. For example, if you search for "Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art" you can see the museum of stacked concrete boxes floating that she designed. The Vitra Fire Station in Germany and the Millennium Dome in London, and the Jockey Club Innovation Center in Hong Kong.

You can read this book in print through the library.