A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches beginning coding to elementary and middle school readers. Emphasizes the power of logic in solving problems and the fun of writing code.
Difficult problems can be solved through teamwork and perseverance. Roadblocks can usually be solved by the application of logic.
Positive Role Models
Hopper, Josh, and Eni make a good team. Eni is calm and logical. Josh is excitable but loyal. Hopper sometimes reacts before thinking, but she's resourceful and persistent.
Violence & Scariness
The kids are menaced by ducks with teeth and hit with code made into solid weapons.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is the fifth volume in the Secret Coders fantasy graphic novel series by Gene Yang (Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese) that teaches coding skills to elementary and middle schoolers, and it doesn't stand on its own. In this installment, the main character, 12-year-old Hopper, and her fellow coders, Josh and Eni, continue to learn programming and fight their covert war against Professor One-Zero and his mind-numbing Green Pop. The Secret Coders are menaced by ducks with teeth, but they defeat them with their coding skills. This is a fine choice for families looking for books with diverse characters, as Hopper's mother is Asian American and Hopper's new best friend, Eni, is African American.
Is It Any Good?
Graphic novels are an excellent way to tackle educational subjects, and this high-energy comic provides plenty of action in addition to coding lessons. Writer Gene Luen Yang and illustrator Mike Holmes balance the puzzles and the sci-fi adventure in Potions & Parameters, creating the perfect mix of instruction and comedy. The Coders meet new allies, but they also learn new things about themselves and the feelings they're developing for each other. Readers who've come this far will be eager for the next installment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
Books for Kids Who Love Math and Science
Graphic Novels and Memoirs
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