Brittany Kester (she/her) is an Education Librarian at the University of Florida. She is pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida and holds a master's degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. She has 8 years of library experience and has taught university courses in children's literature, media literacy, and library research methods.
This week, September 18 to 24, we are celebrating National Coding Week!
It is the 10th anniversary for National Coding Week during which schools, businesses, libraries, and other organizations encourage people to share their skills and stories related to coding to inspire others of all ages to learn new digital skills and become more tech savvy.
Today, we've got a fantastic list of children's and young adult books related to coding that also highlight BIPOC characters and diversity in the field.
These picture books introduce children to coding and important related topics. They are a great way to engage kids in learning about aspects of coding as well as help young learners develop higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills!
"Ara loves big numbers--BIG numbers. She wants to program her droid DeeDee <Beep!> to count all the stars, but she's not sure how. In this upbeat adventure, Ara visits Innovation Plex to enlist the help of four tech trailblazers--inspiring real-life engineers of Google. With her new friends, Ara discovers an algorithm for success that can solve BIG problems and be lots of fun: courage, creativity, code, and collaboration. </Beep!>, "- -Page 4 of cover
Computer coding in the kitchen? Yes! Best friends Gabi and Adi are baking a special birthday treat-and making a recipe is a lot like creating a function in a computer code. These scientifically minded junior programmers are always on the lookout for ways to work coding concepts into their day with Code Play!--Provided by publisher
"Gabi's garden needs some help. Where to begin? Gabi and her best friend Adi use if/then statements to decide what to plant, what to water, and what to pick! These scientific thinkers find ways every day to use computer coding concepts to make work and play more fun!"-- |cProvided by publisher
"It's time to clean Adi's room! If only a computer could do it for her! That gives Adi and her best friend Gabi an idea-think like a coder! These scientific thinkers put on their computer coding caps and make cleaning up a snap by sorting with variables!"--
"Best friends Adi and Gabi love to play with Adi's toy train. Round and round it goes-choo choo! Watching it loop the track gives the girls an idea. These scientific thinkers use their computer coding knowledge to put the train to work!"--|cProvided by publisher
Coming Soon To The Diverse BookFinder
Rox is happy to spend the whole day on her laptop inventing awesome robots, but her dad wants her to clean up! When the Chorebot she designs gets a mind of its own and tries to organize the whole city, Rox and her neighbor Amar race to recode Chorebot in time to save the day.
All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!
Catch the next book in this series: How to Code a Rollercoaster by Josh Funk & Sara Palacios
Eight-year-old Terysa loves to solve problems. Give her some time and she'll figure out how to solve anything. So when Terysa is given an older computer for her birthday, she faces her biggest challenge yet: Can she make it talk? Terysa is full of good ideas, but will any of them work, or does she need to change her approach and think less like a human and think more like a computer?
Early Reader & Middle Grade
Coding is central to these early reader and middle grade books. They encourage young readers to think outside the box: what they can do with technology now, and what are the possibilities for the future?
Coming Soon To The Diverse BookFinder
Sasha Savvy, is a super smart 10-year old African-American girl, who lives in Washington, DC. Sasha must choose which class to take for summer camp. Her mom discovers that the camp is offering a new class for girls on how to code. Sasha thinks this will be boring and doesn't believe that she is good at computer stuff. Despite this, she decides to give it a chance. Sasha's mom, a Software Developer, gives her a unique formula to help her remember how to code but will it be enough to get her through a challenging first day of camp with bugs everywhere, computing errors, that is.
Allie Navarro can't wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK'D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it's a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK'D. Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone's making new friends. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone's secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt--all before she steps on stage to present CLICK'D to the judges at the youth coding competition?
Catch the second book in the series: Swap'd by Tamara Ireland Stone.
Lacey Chu is a girl who codes. She has always dreamed of working as an engineer for MONCHA, the biggest tech firm in the world and the company behind the "baku"―a customizable "pet" with all the capabilities of a smartphone. But when Lacey is rejected by the elite academy that promises that future, she's crushed. One night, Lacey comes across the broken form of a highly advanced baku. After she repairs it, the cat-shaped baku she calls Jinx opens its eyes and somehow gets her into her dream school. But Jinx is different than any other baku she's ever seen…He seems real.
Catch the second book in the series: Unleashed by Amy McCulloch.
Technology is a large part of every teen's life. These young adult books show that there's no limit to what they can discover and create using these tools.
Coming Soon To The Diverse BookFinder
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man." But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Andrea "Andy" Gonzales and Sophie Houser, two teenage tech phenoms, met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. Through the success of their video game, Andy and Sophie got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies, and now they're sharing what they've seen.
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