Coding and computer science

Alkire, Jessie  Code It!: Programming and Keyboards You Can Create Yourself
Gr. 4–6   
 32 pp.    ABDO

Checkerboard Library: Cool Makerspace Gadgets & Gizmos series. This short volume introduces makerspaces and coding, providing instructions for six projects that use either Scratch or Makey Makeys. Photographs accompany clear, reproducible instructions, and brightly colored backgrounds and lively fonts create an engaging aesthetic. With emphasis on how over why, the book encourages interest in tinkering. Includes tips for "Makerspace Maintenance." Glos., ind.
Subjects: Coding; Computers

Funk, Josh  How to Code a Sandcastle: A Girls Who Code Book
Gr. K–3 
  40 pp.    Viking

Illustrated by Sara Palacios. This addition to the Girls Who Code book franchise introduces younger kids to coding fundamentals in an unusual setting: the beach. Young vacationer Pearl enlists robot Pascal to help build a sandcastle with basic concepts of sequences, loops, and if-then-else. The child-friendly text couples well with the simple, sunny art, rendered digitally in combination with gouache and acrylic paintings. A final guide reinforces the programming lessons.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Computers; Sand castles; Robots; Beaches; Coding

McCully, Emily Arnold  Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer
Middle school, high school 
   164 pp.    Candlewick

Ada Byron Lovelace followed nineteenth-century conventions by marrying and bearing children yet still pursued scientific interests. Her friend Charles Babbage produced a mechanical tabulation machine, which Lovelace defined as a computer prototype; her resulting algorithm is often considered the first computer program. McCully clearly and systematically outlines mathematical concepts while painting Lovelace's life as one characterized both by spurts of brilliance and many challenges. Archival illustrations and photographs appear throughout. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Biographies; Individual Biographies; Coding; Computers; Inventions and inventors; Lovelace, Ada King; Mathematics; Women—Biographies; Women—Computer programmers; Women—Mathematicians

Redding, Anna Crowley  Google It: A History of Google
Middle school, high school
   231 pp.    Feiwel

This enthusiastic history of Google starts with Larry Page and Sergey Brin as Stanford doctoral candidates then clearly and comprehensively traces the company's growth and diversification. Emphasizing Google's motto, "Don't be evil," the conversational text celebrates the company's revolutionary products, business model, and work culture. This book is timely, given Google's pervasiveness. Photographs, archival screenshots, and sidebar anecdotes are scattered throughout. Bib.
Subjects: General Knowledge; Brin, Sergey; Business; Coding; Computers; Engineering; Entrepreneurship; Internet; Page, Larry; Telecommunication

Wood, Kevin  Create an Animation with Scratch
Gr. 4–6
    32 pp.    Lerner

Wood, Kevin  Create Computer Games with Scratch
Gr. 4–6    32 pp.    Lerner

Wood, Kevin  Create Music with Scratch
Gr. 4–6 
  32 pp.    Lerner

Wood, Kevin  Create Your Own Story with Scratch
Gr. 4–6 
  32 pp.    Lerner

Illustrated by Glen McBeth. Project Code series. These books include hands-on tutorials, available for download, to develop basic Scratch coding skills needed to create stories, animation, games, and music. Readers learn about underlying concepts such as binary instructions, loops, and repeats, and are encouraged to go beyond directives for deeper understanding. Accessible descriptions, short sections, and an appealing graphic layout recommend this series for self-guided learning. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Computers; Coding; Animation; Computer games; Music; Storytelling

From the September 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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