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Crack the Code!: Activities, Games, and Puzzles That Reveal the World of Coding

Review

Crack the Code!: Activities, Games, and Puzzles That Reveal the World of Coding

Written by Sarah Hutt and illustrated by Brenna Vaughan

Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization aiming to encourage young girls to learn computer science and eventually pursue careers in technology. Girls Who Code has published one non-fiction book, three books so far in a fiction series, and a companion activity book. The activity book, CRACK THE CODE!, is written by Sarah Hutt and illustrated by Brenna Vaughan. It provides an innovative approach to getting girls excited about computing.

"CRACK THE CODE! includes more coding activities than I could ever have imagined....This new workbook from Girls Who Code is bound to make girls excited and ready to start coding."

Beginning with a note from Reshma Saujani, the founder of the Girls Who Code organization, CRACK THE CODE! is a workbook that guides its readers through the characters from the fiction series. Leila, Maya, Sophia, Erin and Lucy all introduce readers to different applications of coding. Readers will recognize the characters if they have also read the other Girls Who Code books, but the workbook can even stand completely alone from the other books.

This book is an engaging and interactive way to learn topics in computer science, and it takes a more active learning approach than the other Girls Who Code books have so far. CRACK THE CODE! caters to girls who love getting started and doing things right away. Starting with brainstorming robots, the reader learns about a variety of topics that appeal a diverse range of interests. Whether relating coding to sports or volunteering with nonprofits, Hutt empowers every type of reader. This workbook, along with the other books, does a fantastic job of incorporating core computer science topics with playful and enjoyable activities.

I am super impressed by the variety and number of activities included in this book. Every activity has purpose and made sense within the context of the book. Gradually easing readers into more complex topics, this book has it all. With a mixture of writing exercises that were a lot like journaling and extensive crafts, any reader will find multiple projects they love. Through guided brainstorming and recommended partner activities, girls can learn to think on their own for some pages and, on others, they can ask a friend for help if they get frustrated. Also, any quizzes or questions have an answer key in the back of the book, ensuring the reader can independently check their answer and know the reasoning behind it.

CRACK THE CODE! includes more coding activities than I could ever have imagined. I will always recommend that young girls explore coding and see if it is for them. This new workbook from Girls Who Code is bound to make girls excited and ready to start coding. Girls need no prior experience to complete this book, and it is perfect to do with a friend!

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on March 20, 2018

Crack the Code!: Activities, Games, and Puzzles That Reveal the World of Coding
Written by Sarah Hutt and illustrated by Brenna Vaughan