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Emmy in the Key of Code

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In this innovative middle grade novel, coding and music take center stage as new girl Emmy tries to find her place in a new school. Perfect for fans of GIRLS WHO CODE series and THE CROSSOVER.


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In this innovative middle grade novel, coding and music take center stage as new girl Emmy tries to find her place in a new school. Perfect for fans of GIRLS WHO CODE series and THE CROSSOVER.

30 review for Emmy in the Key of Code

  1. 4 out of 5

    Aimee Lucido

    Well, perhaps I'm a *little* bit biased, but THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ!!!! Recommend it to all your friends and buy it for all your children/nieces/nephews.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kip

    This is such a fun book! The way it combines music and code and poetry is totally unique, and Emmy herself is such an earnest, heartfelt character looking for her place in the world. STEM-focused fiction for girls is of course very much needed, but it's not all about the coding (although the code-poetry itself is pretty awesome). Emmy's relationship with her parents, her amazing computer teacher, and the girl she hopes will be her best friend drive the story forward as Emmy learns how to find he This is such a fun book! The way it combines music and code and poetry is totally unique, and Emmy herself is such an earnest, heartfelt character looking for her place in the world. STEM-focused fiction for girls is of course very much needed, but it's not all about the coding (although the code-poetry itself is pretty awesome). Emmy's relationship with her parents, her amazing computer teacher, and the girl she hopes will be her best friend drive the story forward as Emmy learns how to find her voice. I'll be handing this to the middle-grade readers in my life for sure!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah R. Baughman

    EMMY IN THE KEY OF CODE is a brilliant mesh of music and Java, blurring lines between poetic and programmatic language. Smart, determined Emmy stays true to herself as she searches for her voice. An inspiring and enlightening read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim Peacock

    I read an early pre release. Started on my train to work. Got into the office and spent the first half hour of my workday finishing it. Can't wait to read the final cut!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian Weisfeld

    I had the chance to read an advance copy of EMMY and all I can say is "wow." Not sure which is more impressive - the ambition of creating a novel in verse filled with music and code or the execution! Can't wait to pass it along to my daughters to read next.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This was a great story!! I can relate to Emmy in the musical way so can my son. See we're string players. Oh and I can't leave my mom out who started all of this. However; I don't think that ever did any music in code so this was something new to me. My grandmother I'm sure can definitely relate most to Emmy because she was moving around to all the different schools in Ohio when she was younger. I can't imagine doing that but I'm sure it couldn't have been easy. How are you going to learn w This was a great story!! I can relate to Emmy in the musical way so can my son. See we're string players. Oh and I can't leave my mom out who started all of this. However; I don't think that ever did any music in code so this was something new to me. My grandmother I'm sure can definitely relate most to Emmy because she was moving around to all the different schools in Ohio when she was younger. I can't imagine doing that but I'm sure it couldn't have been easy. How are you going to learn where to fit in of you move around all the time? Actually yes I can be Emmy. I had to move to a different state school and city where I was really never accepted. Music was what helped me a whole lot back then. This author I felt like was telling my story when I was Emmys are. She has done this so well that I travelled back to my own childhood. Wow!! Super job!! I really enjoyed this story. It's not very often that I pick upt this type of story anymore but it's a delight whenever I do. I recommend this book if you love music like I do! My thanks to Netgalley for a complimentary copy of this book. NO compensations were received. All opinions are my own

  7. 5 out of 5

    Blair Thornburgh

    If you think you need to understand code or math to appreciate this book, I am here to reassure that that is NOT the case. Trust me, I barely made it out of Algebra II! This is a beautiful and smart novel that uses code and music AND poetry to tell a story, and a fabulous, emotional, pitch-perfect MG story at that. Like Emmy herself, the poems are playful, heartfelt, and layered. You could use this in a classroom to discuss poetry, or music, or computer science, or just friendship and If you think you need to understand code or math to appreciate this book, I am here to reassure that that is NOT the case. Trust me, I barely made it out of Algebra II! This is a beautiful and smart novel that uses code and music AND poetry to tell a story, and a fabulous, emotional, pitch-perfect MG story at that. Like Emmy herself, the poems are playful, heartfelt, and layered. You could use this in a classroom to discuss poetry, or music, or computer science, or just friendship and standing up for yourself. I recommend this for fans of THE CROSSOVER, MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY, and THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, or really any stellar MG.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First of all, the verse in this novel is beautiful - many verse novels read like prose with wacky line breaks, but this book works as poetry as well as a narrative, and it uses space really well, especially with the incorporation of code elements. The story is well-paced and well-told, the challenges of middle school are real to these characters but I think every reader will see themselves reflected, the characters are three-dimensional, and I absolutely LOVE the way Lucido makes it clear that y First of all, the verse in this novel is beautiful - many verse novels read like prose with wacky line breaks, but this book works as poetry as well as a narrative, and it uses space really well, especially with the incorporation of code elements. The story is well-paced and well-told, the challenges of middle school are real to these characters but I think every reader will see themselves reflected, the characters are three-dimensional, and I absolutely LOVE the way Lucido makes it clear that you can find the thing you love in unexpected places, that it's okay to listen to your heart even when your heart isn't saying what you expected, that no one gets to decide who you are but you. I wish I could give this to me at age 11, but I'll have to settle for giving it to as many work kiddos as will listen.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Baron

    LOVED this novel in verse! Full review soon!

  10. 4 out of 5

    meg chia

    I love this!! Review to come on my blog which you should totally be checking out!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Palatine Library

    I give Emmy in the Key of Code a 4.5 star rating and I liked it because the characters were very clear about their feelings and it had lots of coding in it but it was a very quick read for me and I also liked that the friendships between the kids were like me and my friends. Reviewed by: Lucy, grade 4 Emmy’s move to a new California School introduces her to an exciting new teacher and an exciting nitch in Computer Coding. Encouraged by Abigail, a new friend, Emmy follows in her Dad’s mus I give Emmy in the Key of Code a 4.5 star rating and I liked it because the characters were very clear about their feelings and it had lots of coding in it but it was a very quick read for me and I also liked that the friendships between the kids were like me and my friends. Reviewed by: Lucy, grade 4 Emmy’s move to a new California School introduces her to an exciting new teacher and an exciting nitch in Computer Coding. Encouraged by Abigail, a new friend, Emmy follows in her Dad’s musical footsteps by creating a new coding music of her own. Will Emmy’s music help her to belong in this new place. I liked the fact that the book brought together music and coding since these are passions of mine. Similar books: The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park. Reviewed by: Evan, grade 6

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    This novel is a perfectly coded middle grade novel. Filled with new and old friendships and Java in verse! Seriously, this book is brilliant.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    Moving to a new school is tricky. Emmy has never quite felt like she fit in anyway; the music in her head refuses to come out. But in her new elective she learns a new way to do it, and finds new friends to help her weather life's problems. I know I tend to be quite emotional, but I challenge anyone to read this sweet story and not tear up a little bit. Emmy is strong and smart, and sadly those things don't always matter. I loved watching the different characters grow in their o Moving to a new school is tricky. Emmy has never quite felt like she fit in anyway; the music in her head refuses to come out. But in her new elective she learns a new way to do it, and finds new friends to help her weather life's problems. I know I tend to be quite emotional, but I challenge anyone to read this sweet story and not tear up a little bit. Emmy is strong and smart, and sadly those things don't always matter. I loved watching the different characters grow in their own ways and become stronger and better versions of themselves by the end. Although I don't know much about Java, I followed well enough, and I imagine those bits would make perfect sense to most kids nowadays. A great read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tasslyn Magnusson

    I love this book so much. I love it as a mom of a middle grade girl - just like Emmy. I also love it as a poet. First - let's talk about middle grade. Emmy is all of that awkward, learning about friends, discovering what she likes and doesn't like, learning to be her true self. Lucido does a magnificant job of showing Emmy as a whole person - and how she works through the challenges of middle school life. I want those kind of books for my daughter (and son, but he's in high school now so "grown I love this book so much. I love it as a mom of a middle grade girl - just like Emmy. I also love it as a poet. First - let's talk about middle grade. Emmy is all of that awkward, learning about friends, discovering what she likes and doesn't like, learning to be her true self. Lucido does a magnificant job of showing Emmy as a whole person - and how she works through the challenges of middle school life. I want those kind of books for my daughter (and son, but he's in high school now so "grown up"). As a poet, this is simply brilliant. The verses jump off the page. The poetry is evocative and full of imagery that is both exactly what a middle school kid would say, but substantially more than that as a poem. What really sets it apart as brilliant, is the way in which Lucido uses the language of computer coding as part of the poetry. It fits seemlessly. I'm not a tech person. I'm not a coding person. But the repitition and ways in which the use of coding language enhances the verse on the line level - and the poetry and story as a whole novel is wonderful. Please read! You will love it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Such a lovely book! A must read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Emmy, 12, and her parents have just moved from Wisconsin to San Francisco so that her dad can pursue his dream of being a pianist in the symphony orchestra there. Her mom, an opera singer, has given that up and taken a regular job in order to make the move. Both parents are very musical, but no matter how hard she tries and no matter how much she loves and knows about music, Emmy just doesn't have musical bone in her body. Besides, past attempts at musical performance have left her with a bad ca Emmy, 12, and her parents have just moved from Wisconsin to San Francisco so that her dad can pursue his dream of being a pianist in the symphony orchestra there. Her mom, an opera singer, has given that up and taken a regular job in order to make the move. Both parents are very musical, but no matter how hard she tries and no matter how much she loves and knows about music, Emmy just doesn't have musical bone in her body. Besides, past attempts at musical performance have left her with a bad case of stage fright. Now, however, she faces the task of making new friends at a new school and it's not easy. Each time she tries to introduce herself, she's interrupted. Until, finally, in computer class, a girl with braids introduces herself to Emmy. It doesn't take long for Emmy and Abigail to become good friends, nor does it take long for Emmy to connect with computer coding, and teacher Frankie Delaney, a vibrant young woman who clearly loves what she does. Abigail has a beautiful singing voice, has been singing in the San Francisco Children's Choir for years and hangs out friends with a group of girls at school who want her to audition with them for a singing group called Honey Bees. But Abigail has been hiding the fact that she would rather code than sing, though she continues to act like being put into the computer class was a mistake. Emmy, hoping that Abigail will be her new best friend, is hurt when Abigail continues to eat lunch with her friends, leaving Emmy to eat alone. Meanwhile, struggling with constant feelings of not fitting in and not being comfortable with who she is, Emmy must also deal with a budding misogynist bully named Francis in computer class, who misses no opportunity to let her know he thinks she is inferior and that there is no place in coding for girls. Adding to that is a falling out with Abigail, who refuses to respond to Emmy's apologies. But after the class learns that their teacher is seriously ill, can animosities are put aside so that the students can still showcase their end of term coding projects in front of parents, teachers, and students to honor their teacher? When I first began reading Emmy in the Key of Code, I thought I would be reading a novel about a middle grader girl who needs to find herself and her own voice in a completely new environment. Boy, was I wrong! Well, it is that, but more, so much more. It is a novel in verse, written from Emmy's point of view. And as Emmy becomes more proficient at coding, Lucido manages to skillfully weave in some basic Java code in places, creating a kind of poetry in code. Not an easy task, but she pulls it off beautifully. And the best part is that readers don't need to know coding to read Emmy's story, but do learn some coding along with her. Java terminology is explained within the text and in a glossary, as are musical terms. One of the things I really liked is that Lucido didn't give Emmy a dead parent or two in her coming of age story. Instead, she took Emmy out of her comfortable environment in Wisconsin and set down in a completely new place, where her parents are so busy with their own problems of adjusting to the changes. Isolated from parents, friends, and teachers really highlights Emmy's feeling of not fitting in, but allows her to explore and discover her own identity and creativity away from parental interference or expectations of who she should be. It made for a very interesting journey. Young readers will also discover not only a good story but might even catch some of Frankie Delaney's enthusiasm for coding and her admiration for the women who were pioneered computers and programming during WWII while men were off fighting (pg. 154-55). In fact, pair this with Kate Hannigan's fun speculative fiction novel Cape (The League of Secret Heroes), which centers around the actual six women working on a programable computer called Eniac in Philadelphia in WWII. I loved being pleasantly surprised by this novel and Emmy in the Key of Code should appeal to young readers whether or not they have an interest in learning to code, though the computer geek in me thinks all kids should learn some coding. Maybe this will stir up interest in it when they see what Emmy and her class can do. A Reader's Guide can be downloaded HERE This book is recommended for readers age 9+ This book was gratefully provided to me by the publisher, Versify, an imprint of HMH

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    Born to super musical parents, Emmy has always longer for musical talent but it evades her. She's not good at any instrument and has paralyzing stage fright. When her family moves to San Francisco so her dad can have a shot at his dream job, Emmy starts at a new school for the first time and she has no idea where she belongs. She has no friends, she has trouble even speaking to any of the kids, and when she's asked what elective she wants on the first day, she turns in a blank sheet of paper and Born to super musical parents, Emmy has always longer for musical talent but it evades her. She's not good at any instrument and has paralyzing stage fright. When her family moves to San Francisco so her dad can have a shot at his dream job, Emmy starts at a new school for the first time and she has no idea where she belongs. She has no friends, she has trouble even speaking to any of the kids, and when she's asked what elective she wants on the first day, she turns in a blank sheet of paper and lets fate decide. Fate puts her into coding class with Ms. Delaney, a new teacher who's passionate about computer programming and the "lipstick computers", the women who started computer programming back in its infancy. Also in the class is Abigail, a girl in Emmy's homeroom who has a bunch of friends and has been singing in the San Francisco Children's Choir since she was a toddler. Emmy's hoping that Abigail will be her first new friend at school, but Abigail hides the fact that she loves computers from her other friends and hides the fact that she's friends with Emmy, too. Coding might just turn out to be the key that Emmy's been waiting for, but even though programming languages are binary, boolean, either true or false, it turns out nothing else in Emmy's life is. Written in verse and often including poems crafted in programming language (which increases in frequency throughout the book, allowing readers the chance to learn about elements of programming before they're extensively used in the poems), Emmy also uses a lot of musical terms. This feels so true to her character and really added to the depth of her character and helps the reader recognize how much Emmy longs to participate in the musical world that her parents belong to. All terms (coding and musical) are defined in a glossary in the back. At its heart, this is a friendship story and the story of entering a new world and trying to find yourself. It may especially appeal to young coders, but I think there's a lot of appeal to readers of contemporary fiction (particularly novels in verse) across the board. Hand to fans of WORDS WITH WINGS for another novel in verse about a girl starting as the new kid at a middle school and finding her passion with the help of a wonderful teacher. Or the Girls Who Code series for readers who want more stories about girls learning about coding and computer programming.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Slipak

    MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. So, when I got this book, I thought: “Wow, this is one thick book.” I opened the cover and flipped through its pages and thought: “Great! Another novelty format.” I hate novelty formats. Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word… I dislike enormously but not too much to fill a canyon or rise above half a mountain. 🙂 However, my job as a reviewer, a true reviewer… is not to judge without at MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. So, when I got this book, I thought: “Wow, this is one thick book.” I opened the cover and flipped through its pages and thought: “Great! Another novelty format.” I hate novelty formats. Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word… I dislike enormously but not too much to fill a canyon or rise above half a mountain. 🙂 However, my job as a reviewer, a true reviewer… is not to judge without at least giving it a good effort at understanding and an honest attempt at reading at least two chapters. So I began. Page 389 came faster than expected and I now have a new word: fortissimo At the back of the book is a glossary of coding terms that explains a lot of what you’ll encounter throughout the book. I advise you read this first. There are many things about this book that I found fascinating. The book covers STEM and addresses girls’ empowerment. We’ve all been in middle-school, so we all know how it constantly changes especially within friendships. We know how people’s interests affects who we hang with and how we grow and fall. Boys at this age are immature and annoying; girls are standoffish or withdrawn. Drama, drama, drama… basically it drives our pre-teen girls and leaves pre-teen boys shrugging and scratching their heads wondering what just ran them over–a mac truck or a pre-teen girl? It’s all about the clothes, and boys. Finding this book written in verse and code is remarkable and worthy of a novelty-hating reviewer’s time. This one is glad she made the effort and extremely happy she’s discovered she’s not so much a hater as she’d first thought. OMG! (she says with a hair flip) The book appears thick but it’s actually a quick read, formatted to fit the verse style of writing and the extensive coding. You get a glimpse into a pre-teen girl’s life and her desire to find where she fits in in the world that is incredibly new and large to her. We all want to belong somewhere, Emmy is no different. By the time I finished this book, my thoughts were locked in my own memories of middle-school and the issues/struggles I faced. It’s good to find a book for the girls of today to relate to. Good for coders, poets and even those who love music!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vonda

    Emmy and her musician parents move from the Midwest to California. The whole family struggles together to adjust to their new lives. The author sprinkles musical and coding terms and references throughout the story. She does so in a very poetic styling. This very unique story is told from Emmy's perspective and we get to know her thoughts and feelings and join her in her emotional discoveries. She loves music like her parents do, but she begins to realize it’s not her passion. Coding is. And wit Emmy and her musician parents move from the Midwest to California. The whole family struggles together to adjust to their new lives. The author sprinkles musical and coding terms and references throughout the story. She does so in a very poetic styling. This very unique story is told from Emmy's perspective and we get to know her thoughts and feelings and join her in her emotional discoveries. She loves music like her parents do, but she begins to realize it’s not her passion. Coding is. And with her teacher’s (Ms. Delaney) guidance, she discovers she can make music with her coding. Normally, I’m not very drawn to poetic styling, but this book was different for me. I felt like the author did an exceptional job weaving together these unique topics and experiences, comparing Emmy’s experiences to different coding and musical terms and setting her feelings to songs. For example: “If Ms. Delaney is our conductor then today we are playing a Mozart requiem.” And “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “algorithm” has inside it a little “rhythm.” Algorithms are formulas patterns programmed into a computer and Ms. Delaney teaches me how to write one that generates music. It sounds like hopping like crickets chirping and sparrows singing. We tweak some numbers and it sounds like marching like thunder rolling and rain pounding. We tweak it again and it sounds like swimming and again and it sounds like clapping and again and it sounds like the rays of sunlights For the first time I know there's music in me.” And “I walk inside like I’m a chord resolving.” And “There are hundreds of computer languages but Java is mine. Just saying it feels like a chocolatey drop on my tongue and I spend the weekend on my laptop wrapped in a blanket fingers twitching at all the things I want to use this language to say. Racket, Ruby, Groovy, Scheme, Scala, Rust, Objective C, Python, Pascal, Prolog, Perl, Pico, Logo, Haskell, Curl, PHP, CSS, XML, D HTML, X++, SQL, C Go, Hack, Lingo, Lava Java Java Java Java” I think this book will be intriguing to the reader, even if the coding and musical lingo is foreign to him/her. I was absolutely clueless about coding lingo prior to reading this book, but I found it a worthwhile effort.

  20. 4 out of 5

    legenbooksdary

    This was such a short and enjoyable read. It wasn't too deep, didn't talk about things in a sorrow tone but it was hopeful and it was just nice. Even the pace of the entire story was easy to follow and that made my reading experience better overall. I couldn't help but to continue reading until I reached the end. It was the kind of book that you can read in one go. I love how the main character, Emmy relates to a lot of things in her life with music. It was like a metaphor to everything that hap This was such a short and enjoyable read. It wasn't too deep, didn't talk about things in a sorrow tone but it was hopeful and it was just nice. Even the pace of the entire story was easy to follow and that made my reading experience better overall. I couldn't help but to continue reading until I reached the end. It was the kind of book that you can read in one go. I love how the main character, Emmy relates to a lot of things in her life with music. It was like a metaphor to everything that happens to her in real life and it is a beautiful similarity to put two and two together. I really love how great it blends together and reading a new perspective of how Emmy actually perceives a lot of things, especially with the environment that she grew up with which is music and also with the new passion that she has recently found, coding. I have read before a story where the main character is a coder but never to this extent. And this is a middle grade book but I've learned so much about it that I never even knew or heard about before. This is the kind of thing that I really love most about reading, to be able to learn something new while having fun at the same time. It also highlights on friendship and family. To be together through each other's ups and downs which is a very lovely message to get across. The writing style for this book is very similar to Sarah Crossan's style and I really do enjoy it. Though, she mostly write her stories with somewhat dark elements but for this book, it was all light and bright. A stark contrast but enjoyable all the same. If you're looking for a middle grade book that will warm your heart and tell you to chase after your passion and to never let go then this is the perfect read for you! I really recommend you to read this story as you go along Emmy's story and learn along her that there is more to life but you just have to have enough courage to take up the challenge.

  21. 5 out of 5

    sabrina (thereaderdevotee)

    This book is such a fast and fun read! I read it just within a day and I cannot stop reading it because the story is captivating! I also love reading books with verses, so it is totally a plus point. Even though books with verses are short, they are enjoyable and meaningful enough to read. This is a book that you can read in one go. Once I laid my eyes on the synopsis, I totally wanted to pick this up. I love reading and also learning new things. Since this book revolves around rare s This book is such a fast and fun read! I read it just within a day and I cannot stop reading it because the story is captivating! I also love reading books with verses, so it is totally a plus point. Even though books with verses are short, they are enjoyable and meaningful enough to read. This is a book that you can read in one go. Once I laid my eyes on the synopsis, I totally wanted to pick this up. I love reading and also learning new things. Since this book revolves around rare stuffs discussed in YA/children like coding, poetry and music, this is a must read. I have never come across books which have many subject combinations like this one. If I were given a chance to turn back time to change my course in school, I would definitely choose computer science because the subject is interesting to learn. To be honest whilst reading I was confused with the terms related to coding and music because it is new knowledge for me, I cannot help but feel interested to learn and research more about this area of study. Not only the subject captivates me, I also love for the fact that Emmy is a wise and genuine person. She loves music so much that she relates everything in her life to music. I love her bravery to try out new things such as coding because not everyone is willing to change or add new interests. The message here is you can always find the things you love in unexpected places. Discovering what's best for you may take time and it is okay to keep trying to find what's best for you. Besides, the book tells us about the meaning of friendship, when everyone is trying to fit in just to please others. The book also revolves around family, which is one of my most favorite themes in books. Aimee Lucido is such a genius to combine very distinct subjects into one book and write them wonderfully. I totally recommend you guys to check this book out when it is available in book stores. Thank you Pansing Books for providing me this ARC!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Special thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. This, however, does not reflect the opinions in my review. Emmy in the Key of Code is definitely a unique read. I’ve only read a few books that are entirely in verse and this book does an excellent job of blending both poetry and programming into one fun read that young readers interested in computer programming will dive into. There’s a good introduction into Java and the building blocks of coding that reade Special thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. This, however, does not reflect the opinions in my review. Emmy in the Key of Code is definitely a unique read. I’ve only read a few books that are entirely in verse and this book does an excellent job of blending both poetry and programming into one fun read that young readers interested in computer programming will dive into. There’s a good introduction into Java and the building blocks of coding that readers can learn to use right along with Emmy. Further, it was fun seeing Emmy grow as a young woman throughout the book – she embraced herself and her love for coding, despite how she was raised and how she has to navigate a new hometown and new school. The glossary in the back is a nice extra touch – especially for those newbie code readers like me. Overall, this book would entertain young readers who are interested in poetry or coding and would serve as a quick, fun read since it’s written in verse.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg Dendler

    This is a wonderful book for older elementary or younger YA readers, especially kids who are struggling to embrace who they are and what they love in life. It is written in a free-verse style of poetry, and as Emmy learns to use Java code, those symbols are interspersed in the text. That is part of what makes reading it so delightful, but it could be challenging for younger readers. I know zero about coding, but I thought the use of it within Emmy's thoughts as she develops her skills and unders This is a wonderful book for older elementary or younger YA readers, especially kids who are struggling to embrace who they are and what they love in life. It is written in a free-verse style of poetry, and as Emmy learns to use Java code, those symbols are interspersed in the text. That is part of what makes reading it so delightful, but it could be challenging for younger readers. I know zero about coding, but I thought the use of it within Emmy's thoughts as she develops her skills and understanding was brilliant. I especially loved the friendships that developed during the story, the integration of music, and the focus on girls in science and math and challenging that stereotype. Highly recommend. And I can assure you that I will be checking out the code when I transfer this review over to my blog page. Not like I'll understand it all, but I will definitely appreciate it a bit more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Aker Howell

    Emmy in the Key of Code puts the A in STEAM. Emmy is new to her school in San Francisco and joins a coding class. Feeling like she doesn't belong anywhere else, this class becomes her home, mostly because of the teacher. Like Mr. Terupt and Ms. Bixby, Emmy's teacher becomes very ill, and the class comes together around that. Despite that similarity to other current popular novels, the text here is fresh and the poems are incredible. I recommend it to my students because they love to read about c Emmy in the Key of Code puts the A in STEAM. Emmy is new to her school in San Francisco and joins a coding class. Feeling like she doesn't belong anywhere else, this class becomes her home, mostly because of the teacher. Like Mr. Terupt and Ms. Bixby, Emmy's teacher becomes very ill, and the class comes together around that. Despite that similarity to other current popular novels, the text here is fresh and the poems are incredible. I recommend it to my students because they love to read about coding, they love novels in verse and those two things have never come together before Emmy in the Key of Code that I know of. Emmy's friendships develop naturally and her love for coding and music is evident. I believe I even learned a little bit of Java, thanks to Emmy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I picked this up as a curiosity--a book about coding written in poetry? How odd; how interesting--and ended up falling in love with it. It's a novel in free verse, with a hefty chunk of the poetry incorporating, even fully becoming, computer Java code. It's also the story of a twelve-year-old girl feeling isolated and alone, hoping to find a place she belongs. Emmy is the daughter of two professional musicians who loves music more than anything, but who lacks the ability to express that love the I picked this up as a curiosity--a book about coding written in poetry? How odd; how interesting--and ended up falling in love with it. It's a novel in free verse, with a hefty chunk of the poetry incorporating, even fully becoming, computer Java code. It's also the story of a twelve-year-old girl feeling isolated and alone, hoping to find a place she belongs. Emmy is the daughter of two professional musicians who loves music more than anything, but who lacks the ability to express that love the way she wants. By happenstance she stumbles upon a new passion that helps her find herself, plus friends and a mentor along the way. She's a highly relatable character, as is the rest of the cast, all of them complex and realistic. This is a surprising, engaging, and moving story. Highly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    Emmy and her parents have just moved to San Francisco from Wisconsin and Emmy could not feel more out of place at her new middle school. Both her parents are musicians, but music has never worked for Emmy the way she wanted it to, and she can't bring herself to chose Orchestra/Choir for her activity period. Instead she is placed in a coding class, and it is there that she begins to find her true passion. This novel in verse has the requisite friend drama and teacher drama required of all middle Emmy and her parents have just moved to San Francisco from Wisconsin and Emmy could not feel more out of place at her new middle school. Both her parents are musicians, but music has never worked for Emmy the way she wanted it to, and she can't bring herself to chose Orchestra/Choir for her activity period. Instead she is placed in a coding class, and it is there that she begins to find her true passion. This novel in verse has the requisite friend drama and teacher drama required of all middle school realistic fiction, but it is set on amazing backdrop of coding. Readers will want to try out the coding languages themselves, to see if they can create what Emmy did. Give this to your readers trying to fit in and find themselves, as well as those already leaning towards coding and robotics as an answer. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up. ARC provided by publisher

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Black

    Read. This. Book. I laughed and cried and learned and watched a story unfold that, although it is about computer programming, is musical and poetic in a way that highlights the reality that art and science go together like peanut butter and jelly. I don’t know Java, but I do feel like anyone with a passing interest in computer science could learn a lot about it. I did, and a beautiful story about a 6th grade girl trying to fit in at a brand new school in a brand new city is what taught it to me. Read. This. Book. I laughed and cried and learned and watched a story unfold that, although it is about computer programming, is musical and poetic in a way that highlights the reality that art and science go together like peanut butter and jelly. I don’t know Java, but I do feel like anyone with a passing interest in computer science could learn a lot about it. I did, and a beautiful story about a 6th grade girl trying to fit in at a brand new school in a brand new city is what taught it to me. This is for every kid who wonders if they can do what they love even if it isn’t “popular.” This is for every girl who doesn’t know that they can break barriers. This is for every adult who is curious about coding or about helping kids think deeply, challenge themselves and find their passions.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine Chapman

    Emmy in the Key of Code perfectly captures the experience of learning to code from the structure of the curriculum to the role of gender to the subculture of early CS classes. Aimee balances being educational & accurate with offering hope & motivation which is a hard balance to strike for 'girls in tech' content. I was lucky enough to have an AP CS teacher that, like Ms. Delaney, encouraged us to bring our hobbies and interests to CS instead of seeing them as an exclusive or, but I know Emmy in the Key of Code perfectly captures the experience of learning to code from the structure of the curriculum to the role of gender to the subculture of early CS classes. Aimee balances being educational & accurate with offering hope & motivation which is a hard balance to strike for 'girls in tech' content. I was lucky enough to have an AP CS teacher that, like Ms. Delaney, encouraged us to bring our hobbies and interests to CS instead of seeing them as an exclusive or, but I know not everyone has that experience and it's an important message to spread. I left the book feeling motivated to press on in the tech industry, but also filled with the memories of how fun solving problems with code can be. Emmy has a captivating plot that's emotional and true to both CS + middle grade. Buy this for the middle grade readers in your life, but also for yourself.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen McKenna

    A perfect middle school book! Last year my students were really enamored with the novel-in-verse format so I am on the lookout for books in this format that older students can relate to. I was intrigued with how the author used poetry in this book to blend the drama of starting a new middle school in a new state, the insecurities of this age, the love of music, and the language of coding. I honestly didn't understand all of the coding in the book, but I was drawn in by the poems and feel that ha A perfect middle school book! Last year my students were really enamored with the novel-in-verse format so I am on the lookout for books in this format that older students can relate to. I was intrigued with how the author used poetry in this book to blend the drama of starting a new middle school in a new state, the insecurities of this age, the love of music, and the language of coding. I honestly didn't understand all of the coding in the book, but I was drawn in by the poems and feel that having it swirl around in my brain was at least a good introduction to a foreign language. If you teach middle school, this should be in your library. #LitReviewCrew

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    I love the way the author used poetry to blend music and computer coding. It is an interesting and engaging format that really brings the music of coding alive. The characters are relateable and wonderfully written. It gives great insight into figuring out who you are and how to use your natural strengths as well as follow your interests to find where you best fit in. Not everyone loves their natural talent or is talented in areas they love but this story does a great job of showing that is a no I love the way the author used poetry to blend music and computer coding. It is an interesting and engaging format that really brings the music of coding alive. The characters are relateable and wonderfully written. It gives great insight into figuring out who you are and how to use your natural strengths as well as follow your interests to find where you best fit in. Not everyone loves their natural talent or is talented in areas they love but this story does a great job of showing that is a normal thing and shouldn't hold you back from doing what you love. Overall I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this book.

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