Review Detail

Kids Fiction 510
Coding for Fun and Profit
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Allie gets tickets to Game On Con because of her previous coding experiences, and wants her friend from coding camp, Courtney, to visit and go with her. The plane ticket is very expensive, so both sets of parents say no. When a school assignment to recycle code ends with Allie creating a Swap'd app that enables students in her school to trade and sell items, giving her a 10% cut, she thinks that this is a great way to save the money. The app does well, and business is brisk. Allie and her friend Nathan find a way to make it all work... until it doesn't. Allie has to give back the money, and this makes her visit with Courtney seem unlikely. Will the two coders be able to work things out?
Good Points
Allie and Courtney are good friends, and it's interesting to see how they are able to sustain a long distance relationship. I liked that they were trying to fund their own adventures, even if they were VERY expensive. The app building and the business seemed realistic, although I did particularly think it good that a teacher finally realized they were doing something against school rules and made them undo their work. A pleasant, entertaining read.

I was a little surprised that Allie thinks she can sell something, even though an app, at school. I knew that commerce at school was not going to be allowed, so I was a bit uncomfortable through the whole book! When she was called out, I thought that the consequences were doled out very realistically and kindly.

It is always good to see books where children exercise their entrepreneurial spirit, but for tweens, this usually translates into babysitting, dog walking, writing, and selling cupcakes. It's fantastic to see a book where students are encouraged to develop skills that are actually needed by employers and might result in them getting jobs! The Penguin Workshop has a great Girls Who Code series, and Yang has the Secret Coders notebook /graphic novels, but there are not many novels that include this activity! Rhuday-Perkovich and Vernick's Two Naomis does have the characters enrolled in a coding class, but I would love to see a lot more novels including this activity!
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