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Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming Review by Jennifer Land

Jeremy Moritz
Code for Teens

If you have a middle school or high school student that is interested in learning a programming language, be sure to check out the book “Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming” by Jeremy Moritz. This is Volume 1: JavaScript, meaning there will be more future volumes.

This softcover book is published in full color. Illustrated by Christine Moritz, there are many interesting pictures throughout the over 200 pages. The book is designed for the teenaged reader to complete by themselves, without a parent or teacher necessarily supervising or grading their work. As such, there is no teachers guide to accompany the text. This makes it the perfect resource for a busy homeschooling parent to assign to their child to complete.

Students will need access to a computer on which they can practice JavaScript. Your child will also need to create a workbook on a word processor, such as Google Docs, to answer questions found in the text.

There are a total of 10 chapters in the book. Each chapter includes an introduction to the material and a lesson. Students jump right in to exercises to practice the new information and skills. After several pages of hands-on practice, the chapters each include a quiz, a listing of key concepts, and drills. Finally, students will complete an Aggregate Review, which tests them on everything they have learned up to that point in the book. An Answer Key is at the end of the book so teens can check their own work. The back of the book also contains a Glossary of Terms for readers to use.

Students are able to work through the book on their own to learn about coding and actually get the hands-on practice that they desire. My son enjoyed being able to read about a concept and immediately put it into practice. The exercises were brief enough that my son found natural stopping and starting points depending on how much time we had available each day to work on coding. He had things to show off to my husband when he got home from work and was proud of his accomplishments.

The curriculum is a wonderful introduction to the world of coding for students in middle and upper grades. They are able to work independently and have something to show for the time that they put in right away. The book is just the right length for an introduction to JavaScript without being overwhelming to a beginner.

I love this resource because I have a child interested in computer programming. I have no knowledge in this area at all, and I don’t have to, because the book will teach him what he needs to know in a way that he can understand. I recommend “Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming” to other homeschooling families. Jeremy Moritz has done a fine job finding a way to keep a student’s interest while also sharing a programming language that is very popular in today’s workforce. If you have a student that is leaning toward a computer-based career in the future, take note of this and future volumes in the series.

-Product review by Jennifer Land, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2018