Best 7 Books to Teach Computer Programming to Kids

headerIf your little geek want to join the exciting (and highly employable) ranks of computer programmers someday, check out these 7 books that will help them get started!

As geeks, you and I know how important reading is. Spending some quality time with the written word is obviously beneficial for a variety of reasons.

But when your little geek discovers a new interest, hobby or even passion, it’s doubly (trebly!) important to introduce them to the right books for the job.

But what if that passion seems like something they might not understand until they’re older?

I mean, no matter how much your little guy or gal wants to grow up to be a video game designer, you don’t want to toss them Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Java.

Well, not unless you enjoy seeing your kid look like this:

confused bale

Or this:

confused john

So what do you do?

Well, you can certainly buy that long-winded programming book and keep it on your kids’ shelves for another ten years, OR you can check out these 7 fantastic books that were created for the express purpose of introducing your geeky kids to the magic and beauty of computer science and programming.

And you know what? These are so good, even we might learn a thing or two (or three) about programming ourselves!

7 Nerdtacular Kids’ Books About Computer Programming

7. Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Warren and Carter Sande

Hello worldThis is an awesomely comprehensive book about programming. It’s especially notable because electronic systems engineer Warren Sande wrote it alongside his young son, Carter, proving that the language and theories found inside its pages will be understandable to your kiddo.

Not too much prerequisite knowledge is needed to dive deep into Hello World!. As long as your kid can open/close programs, surf the net, use email and play games, then that’s enough to get them started.

And as one enthusiastic reviewer points out: after making their way through the Sandes book, your little geeks will be primed and ready to take a college-level course in programming.

6. Make Your Own Web Page–for Kids! by Ted Pederson

web pageThis one isn’t so much focused on the programming components of game-making, but rather the basics of developing and publishing web pages. Which is an important tool for your geek to possess when he or she creates that super-addictive, multi-award-winning computer game.

From planning to designing to coding to writing to decorating, Make Your Own Web Page–for Kids! will teach your youngsters everything they need to know about creating their own websites.

5. Why Doesn’t My Floppy Disk Flop: And Other Kids’ Computer Questions Answered by the CompuDudes by Peter Cook

FloppyThe title of this one’s certainly a mouthful, but don’t let the word-busy cover scare your kids away. Because this is an excellent book for anyone interested in the mechanics of computer science.

Written by the “CompuDudes,” who host an NPR show in which they answer kids’ questions about computers, Why Doesn’t My Floppy Disk Flop covers a wide range of topics and techniques important to your kid’s future career as a technological wizard.

4. Learn to Program Using Ruby by Chris Pine

learn to programPine’s Learn to Program Using Ruby isn’t precisely a children’s book–there’s no target audience mentioned–but it’s very easy to read and follow and covers a huge gamut of skills and techniques every computer programmer ought to know.

It starts you off with the most basic of one-line programs and takes you on through the understanding of how complex systems are created and operated.

I’d hold off on this one if you’re kid’s picture-to-word reading ratio is still illustration-heavy. But for young teens and beyond, this is a great one for the bedroom bookshelf.

Crave it? GET IT!!

3. Computational Fair Tales and Best Practices of Spell Design by Jeremy Kubica

fairy tales 2These are wonderful. Wonderful. Jeremy Kubica has created the world of Computational Fairy Tales and Best Practices in Spell Design as a totally engaging and informative way to teach kids (and adults) the ins and out of programming.

How does he do it? He teaches us while telling a story. That’s right, there’s an actual narrative here. And not just any narrative; these books feature goblin attacks, magical curses, a kingdom in peril, an evil force of Darkness that threatens the land, a brave princess and an entire world of amazingly fun geekery.

Both books are grand adventures and veritable seminars in the basics (and not-so-basics) of computer programming. Your kids will love them.

2. Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming by Jason R. Briggs

pythonAimed at kids ten and over (along with their parents), Python for Kids is finally a book that explains this amazing system without boring the pants off anybody.

This may be programmer Briggs’ first book, but after reading it we can only hope that it isn’t his last. It’s super fun, super informative and super duper applicable to your little geek’s interests in becoming a future famous computer scientist/programmer.

Crave it? GET IT!!

1. Kodu for Kids: The Official Guide to Creating Your Own Video Games by James Floyd Kelly

koduHere we go. Kodu for Kids is specifically centered around the creation of unique video games. If your kid wants to run his or her own version of Telltale or Rockstar Games in the future, this is a fantastic place to start.

Kodu is a visual language developed through Microsoft that allows for the design, creation and sharing of your kid’s very own video game.

It’s an easy-to-use program, but there’s still a bit of a learning curve, making this book absolutely indispensable for little lads and ladies looking to become Kodu experts.

A little time spent with this book and it’s accompanying program, and your little ones will be well on their way to fun, fame and fortune!

Crave it? GET IT!!

Do you have a little computer programmer of your own? If so, what books have you given them? Anything not on the list here? I’d love to hear about some more awesome options!

For no other reason than because I want to, here’s a look at a couple other unfortunate folks seemingly asked to give an impromptu book report on Data Structures and Algorithms in Blah Blah Blah:

confused joey

confused adder

 

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About Perry Rosenbloom

Perry Rosenbloom is a Geeky Dad trying to raise a Geeky Son. He is the founder of GeeksRaisingGeeks and enjoys everything from killing orcs & trolls to building ergonomic workstations. When not at his Sit/Stand desk, he can be found adventuring throughout Colorado with his family.

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Comments

  1. Thank you a million times!! I am not a geek and my son is brilliant and creative and I fear I will fail him…Thank you for this list!!

  2. Great list and thanks for sharing!

    I will pick a couple from this list for my 9 year old son, but I am also looking for any new books released in 2014 for kids to help learn and enjoy programming.

    Please share in case anyone is aware.

    Thanks again,

    Neel

  3. What a great website!

    My little nephew is fascinated by computers and he seems to have a natural understanding about how they work, so I wanted to buy him a book to help him learn more about computers but I didn’t know what book to get him. Your recommendations have really helped me out, thank you 🙂

  4. Courtney says:

    I agree with Allie, thanks a million times. My son is a bright young boy and I want to maximize upon his interest in computer programming. Thanks for sharing this kid- friendly list.
    Very Grateful,
    Courtney

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