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Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)

Review

Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)

Written by Jo Whittemore with a forward by Reshma Saujani

A nonprofit organization committed to teach girls to code and enter the computer science field, Girls Who Code has published numerous books for elementary and middle school girls. The fictional, middle-grade series includes THE FRIENDSHIP CODE, TEAM BFF: RACE TO THE FINISH, and LIGHTS, MUSIC, CODE! so far. The first two novels in the series are written by Stacia Deutsch, while Jo Whittemore is the author of the third. Each book includes a foreword by the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.

"Combining both an engaging plot and introductory coding topics, LIGHT, MUSIC, CODE! aims to further the mission of the Girls Who Code organization while retaining excellent entertainment value."

LIGHTS, MUSIC, CODE! is the third book in the Girls Who Code series and continues the story of the first two books just from a new point of view. Following a group of middle school girls exploring coding through their Coding Club at school, readers get to experience coding from through the eyes of intelligent young girls. Maya is the narrator of this installment, and she offers a unique view of learning computer science. When Maya’s old best friend moves to her school, the conflict between Maddie, a troublemaker, and Maya’s friends threatens to tear the group apart. Maya and her friends are tasked with designing light displays for the school dance that react to music when played. Not only must they figure out how to code this massive project together, but they must deal with personal struggles, too.

Each book in this series offers something different from the last, whether it be the type of coding discussed or the personality of the narrator. Maya’s voice was unique from the other girls, and she experienced different growth as well. I especially appreciated how much this novel focused on character development and the importance of staying honest with your friend group. The computer science aspects focused on robotics and using code to achieve a variety of goals. The plot successfully builds up the audience’s understanding of robotics from nothing, teaching a significant amount without seeming so.

LIGHTS, MUSIC, CODE! is short and sweet, yet succeeds in getting its points across. The innovative approach of teaching computer science through literature is bound to make an incredible impact on the involvement of girls in computing. The novel is heavily driven by supportive dialogue from fantastic role models, and that is, by far, the best part of the book. This group of girls brainstorm, struggle through, and eventually succeed in meeting impressive goals.

All Girls Who Code books are necessary reads for young girls who may or not have ever had exposure to computer science. Combining both an engaging plot and introductory coding topics, LIGHT, MUSIC, CODE! aims to further the mission of the Girls Who Code organization while retaining excellent entertainment value. I highly recommend this entire series to younger middle school girls because I genuinely believe they can make a significant impact in the field and the lives of readers.

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

Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)
Written by Jo Whittemore with a forward by Reshma Saujani