Girls and Coding and Libraries OH MY!

I am honored to be a part of the Penguin Young Readers blog tour for the Girls Who Code series today, and was provided complimentary copies of two of the below titles for review. All opinions are my own.

As a school librarian in a district without a dedicated computer science program, I try hard to expose my elementary students to coding activities in the library whenever possible. I have always been a HUGE fan of the courses and Hour of Code activities, and I also use the Kodable app with my 2nd graders. We work so hard on developing a “figure it out” mindset when working with these activities – a mindset that will transcend any particular lesson or coding language and will serve students well in any area. We are a 1:1 iPad school, so we are blessed to have access to the technology needed for these activities.  However, I have always struggled a bit to find related print resources to share with kids in my library.

Well, HALLELUJAH! This new selection of titles from Penguin Young Readers fills a HUGE gap in both the fiction and nonfiction middle grade section of my library. I was first introduced to these books when I read an ARC of the first title in the Girls Who Code chapter book series, The Friendship Code, this summer through Kid Lit Exchange. I really enjoyed it, and it has been getting rave reviews from the other reviewers in the KLE network as well. I then immediately purchased a copy for my library, along with the accompanying title, Learn to Code and Change the World. The fiction titles are written about middle schoolers, but definitely skew on the younger side, as far down as grade 4.  

And now there are even MORE books in this collection, as shown below!

These are a great addition to any library or classroom collection, and due to the variety in formats, there is surely to be a title that will appeal to almost any aspiring coder. And can boys read them? Why not?


About the Books

Imagine if the Babysitters Club started a coding club…

Lucy can’t wait for the new coding club at school to start. Even though she’s only in sixth grade, she has an idea for an app, and is excited to get started on it. But Lucy’s excitement turns to disappointment when she shows up at the first meeting. Sophia is there–she and Lucy had a fight over the summer and they are now ex-friends. There’s also Maya–a very cool seventh grader who Lucy’s never dared talk to. And then there’s Erin–a new girl who nobody really knows. Not only does Lucy not get to work on her brilliant idea for an app, she also ends up working with Sophia, Maya, and Erin to discover the meaning of some mysterious notes that are in coding language. Lucy and the rest of the girls soon discover that coding takes time, patience, and dedication–and so does friendship.

girlswhocode2Team BFF: Race to the Finish! – Book 2

Now that Sophia and her friends are an official group in coding club, they can’t wait to bring their coding ideas to life. In fact, they signed up for their first hackathon–a full day of coding and meeting other coders! When they run into Leila–a girl from coding club who happens to be into robotics and who needs a group for the hackathon–they quickly become a team of five. But things don’t go according to plan. Can the girls find a way to work together? They know that coding is all about teamwork and problem-solving–maybe friendship is, too!

The first book in a multi-format, cross-imprint partnership between nonprofit organization Girls Who Code and Penguin Young Readers Group!

Since 2012, Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 10,000 girls across America–and they’re just at the beginning of their mission to close the gender gap in tech. Part how-to, part inspiration, and all fun, this graphically illustrated book by Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani proves to readers that coding is truly for everyone. Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World will show girls how coding skills are relevant to their lives, no matter their interests. Think you’re not a computer science person? Think again–once you read Girls Who Code, you’ll be itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to change the world! 

girlscode4Code it! Create it!

 Design the perfect coding-powered project for yourself in this informative, interactive book.

If you could make an app, computer program, or anything programmed with code, what would it be? A game, clothing that lights up, or maybe a robot to help you clean your room? Whatever your interests are, this fun-filled interactive book will guide you through your brainstorming process, provide inspiration, and teach you basic coding concepts. Put your thinking cap on and get ready to be creative!

About the Founder of Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, and the former Deputy Public Advocate of New York City. As Executive Director of the Fund for Public Advocacy, Reshma brought together public and private sectors to encourage entrepreneurship and civic engagement across NYC. Today, she has galvanized industry leaders to close the gender gap in STEM education and empower girls to pursue careers in technology and engineering. In 2010, Reshma became the first South Asian woman to run for Congress, promoting smarter policies to spur innovation and job creation. Advocating for a new model of female leadership focused on risk-taking, competition and mentorship, Reshma boldly encourages women to charter their own course in her book entitled Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, released in October 2013 by Amazon Publishing.

 She has been named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Business Insiders 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.

About Girls Who Code

In 2012, Reshma Saujani founded the national non-profit organization Girls Who Code to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.  Girls Who Code believes to close the gender gap in technology, we have to inspire girls to pursue computer science by exposing them to real life and on screen role models. They engage engineers, developers, executives, and entrepreneurs to teach and motivate the next generation. Their guest speakers, mentors, and instructors are leaders in their fields, working in positions the girls aspire to attain.

Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to one million young women by 2020. Together with leading educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs, Girls Who Code has developed a new model for computer science education, pairing intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with high-touch mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs.

Through rapid iteration and expansion of the Summer Immersion Program and highly-scalable Girls Who Code Clubs, Girls Who Code has delivered thousands of hours of instruction since beginning in 2012. 94% of students graduate from their Summer Immersion Programs and say that they want to pursue a major or minor in computer science, and 99% would recommend Girls Who Code to other girls.

Girls Who Code programs have earned support from CEOs of top Fortune 500 companies, engaged more than 700 industry professionals, delivered some of the most robust data on computer science education, and been featured in 100+ publications and media outlets, from The New York Times to the Today Show. By the end of 2015, Girls Who Code will have reached over 10,000 girls and plans to have a presence in all fifty states.

Ready to start coding? Try our interactive Girls Who Code coding activity and find a club near you at

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