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CODE THIS! by Jennifer Szymanski


Puzzles, Games, Challenges, and Computer Coding Concepts for the Problem Solver in You

by Jennifer Szymanski

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4263-3443-6
Publisher: National Geographic Kids

A puzzle-based introduction to computer-programming concepts.

This computer coding book immediately sets itself apart by not using computers at all. Instead, readers write codes and complete puzzles by pencil and paper, play games in real life, and even do some arts and crafts. The four chapters follow Cody the robot, who helps the Nat Geo Explorers in their field missions—the readers are asked to program Cody to achieve the objectives of each chapter. Each chapter explores a set of concepts (such as algorithms, debugging, users and events, and conditionals) through varying activities. Some use classic challenges such as the traveling salesman problem; some encourage building physical items, for example making a cipher wheel for coded messages; and some are even games to be played with friends. The writing is crisp and clear throughout, and the text is laid out in easily digestible chunks that are broken up by frequent illustrations. Some images depict the various activities, some accompany relevant historical anecdotes, some are photographs of racially and gender diverse children, and many are beautiful nature pictures fitting the theme of each chapter’s challenge. Extensive backmatter includes solutions to the puzzles, additional exercises (including making slime), resources on coding computers directly, a glossary, and an index.

Appealingly, this positive, highly accessible coding guide needs no computers.

(Nonfiction. 8-14)