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.
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