Blog Tour + Review: Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race to the Finish! by Stacia Deutsch

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Hi YABCers! Welcome to our stop on the GIRLS WHO CODE: TEAM BFF: RACE TO THE FINISH blog tour! Below, you can find information about this fun series and our review. Enjoy!

 

About Girls Who Code:

In 2012, Reshma Saujani founded the national non-profit organization Girls Who Code to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.  Girls Who Code believes to close the gender gap in technology, we have to inspire girls to pursue computer science by exposing them to real life and on screen role models. They engage engineers, developers, executives, and entrepreneurs to teach and motivate the next generation. Their guest speakers, mentors, and instructors are leaders in their fields, working in positions the girls aspire to attain.

Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to one million young women by 2020. Together with leading educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs, Girls Who Code has developed a new model for computer science education, pairing intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with high-touch mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs.

Through rapid iteration and expansion of the Summer Immersion Program and highly-scalable Girls Who Code Clubs, Girls Who Code has delivered thousands of hours of instruction since beginning in 2012. 94% of students graduate from their Summer Immersion Programs and say that they want to pursue a major or minor in computer science, and 99% would recommend Girls Who Code to other girls.

Girls Who Code programs have earned support from CEOs of top Fortune 500 companies, engaged more than 700 industry professionals, delivered some of the most robust data on computer science education, and been featured in 100+ publications and media outlets, from The New York Times to the Today Show. By the end of 2015, Girls Who Code will have reached over 10,000 girls and plans to have a presence in all fifty states.

Team BFF: Race to the Finish!

Imagine if the Babysitters Club started a coding club…

Now that Sophia and her friends are an official group in coding club, they can't wait to bring their coding ideas to life. In fact, they signed up for their first hackathon--a full day of coding and meeting other coders! When they run into Leila--a girl from coding club who happens to be into robotics and who needs a group for the hackathon--they quickly become a team of five. But things don't go according to plan. Can the girls find a way to work together? They know that coding is all about teamwork and problem-solving--maybe friendship is, too!

GIRLS WHO CODE: TEAM BFF: RACE TO THE FINISH! By Stacia Deutsch (Viking; on sale: October 31, 2017; 9780399542527; $12.99; ages 12 and up)

 

Code it! Create it!

Design the perfect coding-powered project for yourself in this informative, interactive book.

If you could make an app, computer program, or anything programmed with code, what would it be? A game, clothing that lights up, or maybe a robot to help you clean your room? Whatever your interests are, this fun-filled interactive book will guide you through your brainstorming process, provide inspiration, and teach you basic coding concepts. Put your thinking cap on and get ready to be creative!

GIRLS WHO CODE: CODE IT! CREATE IT! By Sarah Hutt (Viking; on sale: October 31, 2017; 9780399542558; $11.99; ages 12 and up)

Review

Team BFF: Race to the Finish!

In this second installment in the Girls Who Code series, we follow Sophia and her friends as they enter a hackathon- a marathon day of coding, robots, and competition. If you haven't read the first book, there are still plenty of background information weaved in to get readers up to speed. Sophia's voice is so lively and engaging, familiar and unfamiliar readers of the series should expect their fingers to fly through the pages.

While there is much to love in this book, my favorite part, especially since this is geared towards young readers, is the range of interests the group has. So often, schools and communities set up STEM subjects and humanities subjects, like literature, fashion design, etc. as binaries where you can only like one or the other. This series proves that sometimes the best activities and subjects are when multiple interests and talents can be combined. Coding is a skill that can cross all sorts of subjects and disciplines, and readers will have fun imagining how they can tie coding into their own passions. Even the fact that a book like this exists, a middle grade contemporary story about a group of friends who code together and have fun, is proof that art and science aren't nearly as far apart as we sometimes imagine them to be.

Another highlight of Team BFF is the team itself. Though 5 girls make up the group, their dialogues are all well balanced and personalities all distinct. Sophia's perspective provides a grounding lens that allows you to see into all aspects of her life (home, school, time outside the group, etc.) while still getting plenty of characterization of the other girls with some truly touching scenes. (And, while I'm hestitant to pick a favorite, I do think Maya is particularly cool).

An excellent series for both readers who find coding fascinating and for readers who haven't heard of it before, Girls Who Code delivers a funny, heart-warming sequel that will leave you ready for more.

Code it! Create it! by Sarah Hutt

Interested in coding but not sure what products or activities you could do with it? Look no further than this cute addition to the Girls Who Code series. While the beloved characters of the series appear in the side bars, you don't have to have read the series to find this guide useful, though its definitely an added treat if you have.

Readers should be aware that this isn't a book on how to code, but rather how to brainstorm ideas for coding. I believe a more technical guide may also be available in this collection. What is most valuable in this book are the exercises provided to get your brain thinking creatively. With everything from word searches to designing your own emoji, there are plenty of great activities to challenge you or the young reader in your life. 

Another great quality in this book is the brief biographical information about important female coders (or females who contributed to the field of coding) and the definitions of some important coding terms. The information is just enough to give a nice overview without overwhelming the reader. The inclusion of these facts and historical figures alone are a good source of inspriation.

This is a perfect activity book for young readers who are interested in coding, or even for older readers who are interesting in learning more about this fascinating field.

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