5 Books to Teach Curious Kids About Coding

Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding

Do you remember the Y2K freak out? Were you one of the people in Time Square partying like it was your last night on earth? Are you still using up those canned goods and toilet paper from your emergency cache?

Nobody knew what to do when the binary code flipped over, except the computer nerds of course. They never lost their cool. I’m a nerd myself, but I’m a literature-loving, crossword-working, NPR-listening geek. I can’t speak computer. My kids are already showing interest in technology as they live in a world of toys and smartphones that encourages tech-speak. So I’m doing what I always do: turning to books for the answer. Here are five great books to help kids explore coding.


by Linda Liukas

This one goes at the top of the list because it’s my favorite. Written for kids as young as four, this is part picture book and part activity book.

Ruby is curious and loves puzzles. In each of the nine chapters, Ruby solves a problem that teaches a basic principle of coding, but it’s really more about how to use your brain in a new way. This quote from the author made me buy the book in the first place: “Coding is like crayons or LEGO blocks – a way to express yourself. This book is not about ‘learning to code’. It doesn’t teach any specific programming languages, but introduces the fundamentals of computational thinking that every future kid coder will need.”

If coding is how my kids want to express themselves, I’ll embrace it.

by Marc Scott

Scratch and Python are free programming languages any kid can use. This book walks them through how to create characters, animate photos, and…

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