Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Review: Secret Coders

Premise: "Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes!" ~Provided by the publisher

Title: Secret Coders
Author: Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Genre: Graphic Novel, Mystery
Series or Stand Alone: First book in a new series
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-8

Three adjectives that describe this book: disappointing, forced, meh

I don't quite know how to explain my reactions to this graphic novel. It's definitely trying to cash in on the coding craze, and the coding stuff is done pretty well. The story around the coding is kind of meh, though, and the ending is horrifically sudden.

The good: diverse characters, clear coding explanations, humorous 
The bad: coding element is a bit forced, negative example of kid/grownup relationships, non-existent ending 

Overall: I could see using this as a starting text in a coding course or club. I'm not sure the intended audience would choose it for pleasure reading, though. Sometimes it felt very instructional.
2.5 stars

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