beanz Magazine

Coding Books for Kids

No Starch Press sent along four books for kids. If you don't have them already, look them up at the library or buy online or in a bookstore.

If it matters, I am not paid to write reviews and have no connection to the publisher or writers. These books could interest kids and parents who have time to sit, read, then play on their computers.

Here are the four programming books for kids (links below):

Build Your Own Website

Written (mostly) as comics, this book shows you how to create websites with WordPress publishing software, as well as enough HTML and CSS to create your own page designs. The comics make the topic far less intimidating than most technical books. The book also is written and illustrated by a husband and wife team, Nate Cooper as author and Kim Gee as illustrator. It makes for a fun book for parents and kids to share together as a project. Tweens and teens can work through the book at their own pace with good results.

Python for Kids

Why do gorillas have big nostrils? This book gives you the answer as it teaches Python in a friendly way. I found the book easy-going with the right mix of high and low level details. For example, tuples are not my idea of a kid-friendly topic but the book makes the concept easy to understand and easy to demonstrate. There are tons of examples. And the book includes lots of details about how to work with the many useful Python modules, including modules to create games.

Learn to Program with Scratch

The absolute beginner to Scratch and kids who have played a bit with Scratch both will find this book useful. There’s lots of introductory stuff about backgrounds, sprites, blocks, scripts, and other basic details. But there’s also lots of instructions how to add sound, create games, and use control flow structures to make decisions with your Scratch code. You can work through the book, start to finish, or dive in to answer a question or play around. The index, in particular, is detailed enough you can use it to find answers to do stuff or fix things.

Super Scratch Programming Adventure

This is a very special and unusual book. Where Learn to Program with Scratch is organized as a more traditional programming book, this book explores the creative potential of Scratch. If you don’t know, Scratch is a programming language for kids with two major goals, teach kids about programming AND give kids a way to explore their creative side, reason, and work together with others. This book captures both parts of Scratch. The book mixes comics with tons of screenshots to help build different games. It’s easy to see how kids could tweak the instructions to explore and make the games more personal and fun. The back of the book lists online resources, too.

Learn More

Build Your Own Website

http://www.nostarch.com/byow

Python for Kids

http://www.nostarch.com/pythonforkids

Learn to Program with Scratch

http://www.nostarch.com/learnscratch

Super Scratch Programming Adventure!

http://www.nostarch.com/scratch

No Starch Press

http://www.nostarch.com/catalog/kids
http://www.nostarch.com

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Control Flow

How do programming languages control the flow or processing of instructions? Here's how control flows work in several languages.

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If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

November 2014 Learn More Links

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November 2014 News Wire

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for October 2014.

FTP

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Coding Books for Kids

No Starch Press sent along four books for kids. If you don't have them already, look them up at the library or buy online or in a bookstore.