Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Review: Secret Coders Vol. 2 by G. L. Yang and M. Holmes

Secret Coders Volume 2: Paths and Portals by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

Students Hopper, Eni, and Josh discover the remains of an older school beneath Stately Academy. The academy's janitor was once a teacher at the previous school and he's provided secret access to the old robots in the basement. He teaches the children how to program the robots for simple tasks (something he's done so he doesn't have to mow lawns or do other tedious, robotic chores). Unfortunately, Principal Dean has some interest in the children's activities and is scheming against them, going so far as to use the rugby team to spy on our heroes.

The story is fun but lightweight. The emphasis is more on the programing (using the Logo programming language) and readers are encourage to figure out how to write programs that the characters will use. The characters follow a few programs step by step, showing how the coding works to get jobs done. So the book has a thinly-veiled educational tone. It's a nice introduction to programming and has enough story to keep readers engaged.

The book has a web site with activities including learning to code.

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