Tag Archives: Coding

In the Key of Code – Aimee Lucido


Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781406389333
Imprint: Walker
Australian RRP: $16.99
New Zealand RRP: $18.99

It speaks volumes that this was read in just one night in the past week and that I was immediately talking it up the next day to my ChocLit group.

A verse novel that combines music and coding is not something I’d ever encountered before but this is a combination that works superbly and will undoubtedly engage many readers from around 12 years upwards.

Emmy has moved to a new state, to a new school and to a completely unfamiliar environment, when her parents take up new jobs in San Francisco, leaving Wisconsin behind.

While Emmy loves music she is not the least bit musical despite all efforts, unlike her parents – one a concert pianist and one an opera singer – and struggles to even initiate a conversation at the new school. But when she finds herself in the Computer Programming elective, a shift begins and the first tentative beginning of a new friendship develops. Of course, it’s not without hiccups as one boy in the group is openly resentful not only of Emmy and her new friend, Abigail, but also Ms Delaney, their passionate and expert tutor in coding. Misogynism starts early sometimes and the perception that some occupations or interests are suited to one gender or the other, still pervades.

Emmy’s immediate and intense immersion in the world of Java will be fascinating even to those readers who are unfamiliar with coding language, and could well be the prompt for some to explore this fascinating subject. her journey towards acceptance and real friendship is at times painful but ultimately a beautiful testament to faith in one self and building relationships with care.

It will come as no surprise that this outstanding debut novel is a direct result of the author’s passion for all three aspects – poetry, music and coding.

Highly recommended for your readers from around mid-primary upwards to at least Year 9 – I already have kids in my group waiting to read it too.

Utterly Uber Usborne



Y’all know I’m a bit of a non-fiction geek ever since childhood so when I get a pile of Usborne books for all ages my nerdy heart just sings!

Here are some of the riches I have been exploring of late.


True Stories: Polar Adventures – Paul Dowswell


Harper Collins

Imprint: Usborne

November 2018



All the great names are here: Peary, Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton, Fiennes as well as some perhaps not so well known. For many children this will be new history as it seems that the stories of these intrepid and courageous explorers are no longer much talked about. Perhaps as the growing awareness of climate change, and disturbances to the Earth’s extremities impinges on  oung scientists it is timely to re-visit those who first made research and study in such places possible.

With eight chapters beginning with a general overview of the polar regions and geography and moving right up to the present day this will offer children an opportunity to vicariously explore the harsh and often dangerous polar regions and realise the extreme bravery of those who led the way in such expeditions.

A terrific read for kiddos from around ten years upwards.


Business for Beginners


ISBN: 9781474940139

ISBN 10: 1474940137

Imprint: Usborne – GB

List Price: 19.99 AUD

Lara Bryan

Illustrated by Kellan Stover

With Rose Hall


Business studies are no longer just the province of secondary students with so many primary schools setting up entrepreneur units very successfully. So this book designed for younger readers is the perfect introduction to these burgeoning business tycoons.


Beginning with an outline of what we mean by business and commerce the book divides its information into chapters such as: How to Start a Business, Keeping Track of Money, Making a Product and Growing the Business. Content covers diversifying, advertising, business failures, being a leader and much much more.


Colourfully illustrated and with the text broken up well into manageable chunks aided by comic strip styling, speech bubbles, fact boxes this is an easy-to-read and comprehensible as well as comprehensive ‘textbook’ for the young person aspiring to be a successful business owner.


Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards with a special slant towards those who are looking to establish their own enterprise.


100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding


ISBN: 9781474942997

ISBN 10: 1474942997

Imprint: Usborne – GB

November 2018

List Price: 19.99 AUD

When was the webcam invented and why? Do imaginary numbers exist? What is fuzzy logic? Find the answers these questions about the amazing world of numbers, computers and coding, along with loads of other curious, amazing and mind-boggling facts, in this eye-catching book that is absolutely bursting with information.

Oh yes we all know what the current catchcries are don’t we? And seemingly there are plethora books on the topics of coding and computational thinking for all ages. This one at least moves behind the actual ‘how to’ aspect and gives readers a very thorough exploration of all manner of topics from original computing, fascinating maths facts, hacking, successes and failures and more.

If you have kids who are into any of the coding clubs or this is a topic for your classroom there will be no doubt be many who will want to pick it up and discover new information.  We do know that the processes of coding will not be done by these youngsters in the future but there is no doubt, as I tell my classes, that their ability to think computationally will stand them in good stead in many situations as they grow older.


Recommended for readers from ten years upwards.