CSforCA News & Updates

Computer Science Must-Reads for Kids and Youth

December 14, 2020
Share on Twitter

It’s never too early to introduce children to computer science! With the holidays coming up, we’ve curated a list of educational—and fun!—computer science books to introduce them to key theories and concepts. Many thanks to Emily Thomforde for putting this list together!

Ages 4-6 | Rox's Secret Code by Mara Lecocq 

Follows young inventor, Rox, who goes on a coding adventure to find her runaway robot. The book includes Rox's Secret Code which strives to inspire the next generation of female leaders in STEM through the Secret Code app, and teaches kids the basics of coding through values and actions. 

Ages 4-8 | Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding by Linda Liukas

This is half picture book, half activity book, that introduces kids to the fundamentals of computational thinking, like how to break big problems into small ones, create step-by-step plans, look for patterns and think outside the box through storytelling. 

Ages 4-8 | How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk

Join Pearl and her robot friend Pascal as they use code to learn fundamental computer coding concepts, like sequences and loops, as they try to navigate out-of-control frisbees and mischievous puppies that keep getting in their way. 

Ages 7-12 | Lift The Flap Computers & Coding by Rosie Dickins

This activity book teaches kids the basics of computer science and technology, including subjects like computer systems, data storage, basic networking knowledge and computer languages.

Ages 8-11 | Creative Coding in Python: 30+ Programming Projects in Art, Games, and More by Sheena Vaidyanathan

This comprehensive collection of activities helps kids understand fundamental ideas of computer programming and the process of computational thinking, using illustrations, flowcharts, and pseudocode. It then shows them how to apply those essentials to code exciting projects using Python through chatbots, dice games, geometric shapes, and arcade games and apps

Ages 8-12 | Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games by Jon Woodcock

This book teaches kids important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas, all while creating multiform player games to play with their friends. Kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more. It also supports STEM education initiatives and the maker movement.

Ages 8-12 | The Friendship Code #1 (Girls Who Code) by Stacia Deutsch

Published in partnership with Girls Who Code, this book follows a young girl named Lucy who can’t wait to get started with the new coding club at school. She soon begins to get cryptic coding messages and kids will get a chance to help her translate them. 

Ages 8-12 | President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code by Sherri Winston

This book follows middle school journalist Brianna Justice who is tasked with interviewing students from a girls' coding program at Price Academy, an inner-city middle school. She begins to learn about coding and how harmful stereotypes  can be to budding friendships. 

Ages 10-14 | Code This Game!: Make Your Game Using Python, Then Break Your Game to Create a New One! by Meg Ray

This visual guide teaches kids how to program and create their own video game. Each chapter introduces key coding concepts as kids build an action strategy game in Python, an open-source programming language. The book also teaches kids how to modify the game and follow their imagination by incorporating downloadable art assets.

Ages 10-14 | Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips by Miriam Peskowitz

In this book, kids will learn how to do several fun projects using computer science skills, like building their own computer, create their own digital fortune-teller with Python, and build their own smartphone gloves and light-up bracelets.

Ages 11-14 | Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide by Workman Publishing

This Big Fat Notebook makes it all “sink in” for kids with key concepts, mnemonic devices, definitions, diagrams, and doodles to help them understand computer science. Subjects include computing systems, binary code, algorithms and computational thinking. It is part of a book series that strives to meet Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards.

Ages 10-15 | Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani

This graphic book illustrates what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be through dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA.

Ages 13-17 | Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and  Sophie Houser

This book follows Andrea and Sophie’s journey in the tech and computer science world after interacting with the world’s biggest start-ups and technology companies. In the book, they delve into the power of coding, and highlight some notable women who are shaping the technology world.

Explore Related Articles