Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

I happened to see this graphic novel at the library and picked it up. I’m trying to encourage Miss Adventure to enjoy computer coding more, and I thought a graphic novel about it might help.

Published: 2015

Genre: middle grade graphic novel

Length: 88 pages

Setting: Stately Academy, present day

Summary: Hopper has just moved to a new school, and has your typical problems adjusting. Luckily, she makes friends with Eni, a cool basketball player. He happens to notice the birds around the school have four eyes that open and close based on numbers displayed to them. (Their eyes display binary numbers up to 15.) The birds help Hopper and Eni break into the locked shed, where they discover a turtle robot and programs to control the robot. They use the robot to open a secret portal, but the janitor catches them quickly.

Final thoughts: The book did a nice job of introducing binary numbers and basic programming, but it ended too quickly. We were just starting to figure out the secret of the school, and why there were so many robots, and the story ends. It is continued in several other volumes, but I wanted more in this one. For the younger set, though, it might be just the right length. It’s also set up for the reader to figure out some of the tricks before the results are revealed. On top of the coding information and the mystery associated with the school, you do get a story of trying to fit in at a new school, making friends, and dealing with a divorce. That’s quite a bit to pack into less than 90 pages!

Title comes from: Eni and Hopper considered themselves to be secret coders because they figured out the secret code of the birds and the turtle robot.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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