Secret Coders
Secret Coders

Series: Secret Coders Vol. 1   

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Annotation: The founder of Stately Academy left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students.
Catalog Number: #108487
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Macmillan
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Holmes, Mike,
Pages: 91 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-626-72276-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-626-72276-7
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Hopper is not excited to start a new school, which looks more like a haunted house. Her classes are boring, she runs afoul of her teachers, and, worst of all, no one wants to sit with her at lunch. Her only company is a weird bird who opens a third eyeball. What could be going on? Hopper's classmate Eni thinks he knows: the birds are robots, and they're responding to numbers in binary. From there, Eni and Hopper discover all kinds of coding-based tricks around school. They figure out a lock combination, discover a robot, pull a prank on their classmates, and, thrillingly, find a hidden passageway. Now they're not only playing around with programming but investigating a mystery! Holmes' blocky cartoon illustrations, in black, white, and green, clearly depict basic programming concepts with tidy visual cues, such as grids of floor tiles. Yang and Holmes do such a great job explaining the concepts that even programming newbies will be likely to catch on. A cliff-hanger ending hints at deepening mysteries to come.
Horn Book
Stately Academy looks more like a haunted house than a school--at least to twelve-year-old newcomer and narrator Hopper. But she finds a like-minded ally in basketball star Eni. Nosing around campus, the two find programmable robots and pages of code. This graphic novel is an inspired mash-up of computer science and mystery, thanks in part to well-thought-out explanations and, more importantly, visuals.
School Library Journal
Gr 48 A mysterious school, transition to mastery, and an exciting new language run through this excellent new graphic novel. But it's not magic wands that dictate the new characters' skills it's coding. Hopper, an enthusiastic 12-year-old girl (named after programmer Grace Hopper), has just started school at the creepy Stately Academy. After getting in a fight that involves "lung pudding" (a loogie!) with Eni (based on NBA star Chris Bosh), Hopper and Eni become friends while unraveling the secrets of the school. Robotic birds, family troubles, and sinister, child-hating school administrators lead to a story both emotionally rich and rife with learning opportunities. Readers will feel themselves thinking in a new way as they watch Hopper and Eni transform into coders on a mission, but the story never feels pedantic. The graphic novel format is effective and will appeal to everyone from computer lovers to reluctant readers to mystery fans. The black and green art is effective and straightforward, and the pacing of the panels is excellent. The book is important in light of issues of diversity in the computer programming world; Hopper is biracial, and Eni is African American, and both have multiple dimensions to their characters (they are more than just computer nerds). This first volume ends on a cliff-hanger with real life magic: the magic of coding made accessible. VERDICT An excellent first purchase that introduces readers to the power of computer programming through an engaging graphic mystery. Lisa Nowlain, Darien Library, CT
Word Count: 4,810
Reading Level: 2.9
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.9 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 175360 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q66566
Lexile: GN380L
Guided Reading Level: V
Fountas & Pinnell: V

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes! From graphic novel superstar (and high school computer programming teacher) Gene Luen Yang comes a wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot!

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