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Kids and computing

anniss_make a podcastAnniss, Matt  Make a Podcast!
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Arcturus

Anniss, Matt  Start a Blog!
Gr. 4–6
     32 pp.     Arcturus

Find Your Talent series. General directions, some of which seems like common sense, guide readers through creating a web presence. Anecdotal snippets about already established and popular sites add interest to the occasionally contradictory text (in Blog: “‘wallpapers’…can make text difficult to read” and “brighten up the look of your blog by using…’wallpapers'”). The busy collage-style layout may be appealing to kids willing to scrutinize the pages. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Podcasts; Blogs; Computers; Internet

bedell_so you want to be a coderBedell, Jane M.  So, You Want to Be a Coder?: The Ultimate Guide to a Career in Programming, Video Game Creation, Robotics, and More!
Gr. 4–6, middle school    
248 pp.     Simon/Aladdin/Beyond Words

Be What You Want series. This tween guide engagingly outlines various programming career paths, interviews coders of all ages and experiences, provides historical context, and quizzes its readers; the book specifically highlights successful women in STEM fields. Readers not dissuaded by the sometimes-confusing layout and a lack of visuals (other than clip art) will find a lot of useful information here. Reading list, websites. Glos.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Computers; Coding; Occupations and careers

higgins_cybersecurityHiggins, Melissa and Regan, Michael  Cybersecurity
Middle school, high school    112 pp.    ABDO/Essential Library

Special Reports series. The authors describe the history of the internet, major security breaches (e.g., Target’s customer data hack), and efforts to curb cybercrime. Although the fast-changing topic means the book will be quickly dated, the volume provides serviceable if dry background for report writers. Stock photographs and frequent sidebars contribute to the somewhat choppy layout. Reading list. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Social Issues; Computers; Crime; Safety; Internet

liukas_hello rubyLiukas, Linda  Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding
Gr. K–3     112 pp.     Feiwel

Imaginative little girl Ruby goes on a problem-solving adventure with talking animals in a somewhat forced story, each chapter of which pairs with appended exercises. An introduction to the basics of “computational thinking,” this ambitious illustrated book focuses not on how to code but on how to discern patterns, deconstruct problems into their components, create a plan, and think “outside the box.” Glos.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Computers; Coding; Imagination

lyons_coding, bugs, and fixesLyons, Heather, and Elizabeth Tweedale  Coding, Bugs, and Fixes
Gr. K–3, 4–6    
24 pp.     Lerner

Lyons, Heather, and Elizabeth Tweedale  Learn to Program
Gr. K–3, 4–6    
24 pp.     Lerner

Lyons, Heather, and Elizabeth Tweedale  Online Safety for Coders
Gr. K–3, 4–6    
24 pp.     Lerner

Lyons, Heather, and Elizabeth Tweedale  A World of Programming
Gr. K–3, 4–6    
24 pp.     Lerner

Illustrated by Alex Westgate. Kids Get Coding series. A basic introduction to computers, coding, and programming for savvy young readers. Although illustrated with juvenile cartoons, graphs and charts require elementary math beyond arithmetic and the content can be fairly advanced. Still, the authors clearly define important terms and concepts (e.g., algorithm, cookies, bytes, metadata, debug, syntax), and offer quizzes and a website with other activities for young coders. Glos., ind.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Coding; Computers; Internet; Safety

From the March 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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