Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reading Without Walls Blog Tour

I am so excited to be participating in the Reading Without Walls Tour! This tour is inspired by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Gene Luen Yang's platform to encourage children to read books about people or topics they don't know much about. For me it is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) books. 

Today I would like to highlight Gene Luen Yang's newest book in his Secret Coders series. In addition, I will be sharing another STEM book I read called Human Body Theater: A Nonfiction Revue

by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Published August 30, 2016
by First Second
Graphic novels 
96 Pages

Goodreads Summary
There's something lurking beneath the surface of Stately Academy—literally. In a secret underground classroom Hopper, Eni, and Josh discover that the campus was once home to the Bee School, an institute where teachers, students, and robots worked together to unravel the mysteries of coding. Hopper and her friends are eager to follow in this tradition and become top-rate coders. But why are Principal Dean and the rugby team suddenly so interested in their extracurricular activities?

From graphic novel superstar (and high school computer programming teacher) Gene Luen Yang comes the second volume of Secret Coders: Paths & Portals, a wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot!

My Thoughts
I have to admit, I probably would not have picked up this book on my own. Coding is a mysterious and confusing entity to me. It really is a language all its own. Lines, dashes, numbers and a whole lot of symbols can create a program? It boggles the mind. After reading Paths and Portals, coding is still perplexing, but I think I "get it" a little bit more. 
Paths and Portals is first, a story of friends (if somewhat reluctant friends) working and learning together. They are working together to learn more about coding with the help of the janitor, who they find out used to be a professor. There are successes and failures as they try, practice, tweak and try again with the army of robotic turtles stored in the depths of the school. 
Of course a good story has a protagonist or several in this case. The muscle-headed rugby team steals one of the powerful turtles to give to the evil principal. The story ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader excited to read the next book: Secrets and Sequences. 

The authors do a nice job showing the process of coding with split panels of code on one side and the actions performed on the other. I know many students will be excited to try coding after reading this book (and series). 
I would recommend it for grades 3-6. 

Praise for Secret Coders: Paths and Portals

Don't miss the first Secret Coders book!

by Maris Wicks
Published 2015
by First Second
240 Pages
Goodreads Summary
Welcome to the Human Body Theater, where your master of ceremonies is going to lead you through a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body! Starting out as a skeleton, the MC puts on a new layer of her costume (her body) with each "act." By turns goofy and intensely informative, the Human Body Theater is always accessible and always entertaining. 

Maris Wicks is a biology nerd, and by the time you've read this book, you will be too! Harnessing her passion for science (and her background as a science educator for elementary and middle-school students), she has created a comics-format introduction to the human body that will make an expert of any reader -- young or old!

My Thoughts
This book is an amazing work of fictional nonfiction. In full color, the host, Skeleton, takes the reader through the body systems in a way that is entertaining, informative and makes sense to young readers. The characters are entertaining and the story has a humorous tone. What a great way to learn about the human body. 
For parents and educators: There is a section about the reproductive system with illustrations.

Visit the other stops along the Reading Without Walls Blog Tour!

August 31: Colby at Sharp Read
September 1: Jess at Reading Nook Reviews
September 2: Samantha at Forest of Words and Pages
September 5: Jennifer at YA Book Nerd
September 6: Maria at Maria's Mélange
September 7: Gigi at Late Bloomer's Book Blog
September 8: Jen at Starry Eyed Revue
September 9: Cheyenne at The Hollow Cupboards
September 12: Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
September 13: April at Good Books and Good Wine
September 14: Cindy at Charting by the Stars
September 15: Erica at The Book Cellar
September 16: Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks
September 19: Asheley at Into the Hall of Books
September 20: Daphne at Gone Pecan
September 21: Mary Ann at Great Kids Books
September 22: Kathy at The Brain Lair
September 23: Michelle & Leslie at Undeniably (Book) Nerdy
September 26: Laurie at Reader Girls
September 27: Margie at Librarian's Quest
September 28: Victoria at Art, Books, & Coffee
September 29: Cee at The Novel Hermit
September 30: Amanda at Forever Young Adult

1 comment:

  1. My sixth and seventh grader and I all eagerly slurped up the first Secret Coders book. So excited there's another one out!
    I am fascinated by the way graphic novelists convey nonfiction content. Such an exciting development in the world of nonfiction!