Rourke, grades K-3
This book was written so that new readers could discover for themselves what coding is. It includes an activity at the end that explores the concept of coding without needing a computer.
Video Game Coding
Focus Readers, grades 4-7
Did you ever wonder what the life of a video game coder was like? This book introduces readers to the process professional coders go through to create a video game.
Rourke, grades 4-8
This book walks readers through the creation of five different Scratch programs. Scratch is a free, easy-to-use computer language from MIT. If you have a computer or tablet and an internet connection, you can run Scratch. You can also download it and work offline.
The projects explore what you can do with animation, sound, geometric drawing, and video game design. Once you know the basics, “Try This” challenges launch you to the next level.
Related Web Sites and Activities
There are some great coding resources for kids (and adults who want to play around) out there. Here's a list of some my favorites.
Kodu is one thing Microsoft definitely got right. Kids can create impressive-looking video games in a very short time. There are tons of templates and helpful videos, too.
MIT's Scratch lets kids code simple games, animations, and more. My Coding Creations book walks readers through four programs that cover many of Scratch's features. There are additional videos, tutorials, and examples on the Scratch website.
Girls Who Code is an organization whose mission is to encourage more girls to code. You can search for opportunities near you, or you can volunteer to start your own club (with their help).
Black Girls Code has a similar mission, but they strive to see more women of color enter STEM fields. They sponsor hackathons, workshops, and other events.
Every great developer...got there by solving problems they were unqualified to solve until they actually did it.
~ Patrick McKenzie ~