Humble Braniac Book Bundle: tech books for kids!


It seems strange to see Ruby, Javascript, and Python presented simultaneously as introductions to programming. I would have thought any one of them would suffice.

(I have some unpleasant memories of banging out BASIC code from books, none of which were written with IBM BASIC in mind and thus required much bungling to find equivalent statements for some of the less common commands – and even then the struggle of finding typos afterwards was perhaps the ultimate lesson in what programming was really like. At least no one seems to be flogging BASIC very much anymore.)

I picked up this bundle so quickly I didn’t have time to wonder at what age these books are targeted. Any Boingers have success/failure stories to relate about these or similar volumes?

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Well, this is how I got started learning to program. I had one of those books, trying to get it to run on an Apple ][+… once I got that, I thought, this game sucks, and wanted to make it better, so I had to learn how to change the lines and make new ones.

Learning this in 4th grade made most subsequent high school and college CS classes a breeze…

If this helps, I buy a bunch of these for the children/teen sections at my library, aiming for roughly middle school and up. The Lego books are very popular and I had a boy tell me that the day he brought Legos in Space home, he immediately made a spaceship. I’ve had the most experience with their Scratch manuals, which are well done and have been used for Scratch programs in our library before.


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