Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone's making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone's secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present Click'd to the judges?
New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.
Speak My Language
Allie has an amazing time in the CodeGirls Summer camp and is really excited about the app she has created, Click'd. It is designed to help kids make friends by having them answer a questionnaire and matches them accordingly. Then, when their phone is near the other person's phone, there are a series of prompts that connect the two. Allie decides to launch it during the first week of school, right before her dedicated coding teacher, Ms. Slade, has entered her in the Games for Good competition. She gets a lot of people to download the app, and everyone suddenly knows who she is. Unfortunately, there is a glitch in the app that sends a screen capture of a text conversation her friend Emma has to the wrong people. Emma is rightfully angry, and wants Allie to fix the app, but it's complicated. The code is intertwined with other features, and Allie eventually reaches out to fellow coder, her nemesis Nathan. He is also entering the competition and has a glitch of his own. Allie is able to help him, and Nathan tries his best, but nothing fixes the code the way it needs to be fixed. Right before the competition, Allie has to pull out because she causes further trouble in the code. Eventually, she figures out her mistake, but can she repair the code and her relationships with Nathan and Emma?
The important part of the story, of course, is the middle school drama. This is done very realistically; I especially like the teacher who is collecting cell phones in a bucket because children are not supposed to have the devices out during the day. Allie misses her friends from coding camp and feels a little awkward with her other friends because they have been apart. She has a lot in common with Nathan, but she also resents his success. Ms. Slade is a positive and fun role model.
We're just starting to see books that include more discussion of programming in them, but there aren't a lot. While Click'd will appeal to a wide range of readers who like books with lots of friend drama, it will also appeal to readers who want more details about coding and have enjoyed books like Saujani's nonfiction guide, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World and Deutsch's fictional companion series, The Friendship Code (Girls Who Code#1)