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Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners Paperback – May 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933988495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988498
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Sande is an Electronic Systems Engineer who uses Python (and other languages) in his work, and also uses it to help teach his son about computers and programming. He holds a degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan as well as a Diploma in Communication Arts, specializing in Broadcasting, from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He has taught introductory software courses to computer novices.

Carter Sande is a bright, curious, energetic, and thoughtful boy who loves computers, playing the piano, bouncing on the trampoline, and Mario. He has been playing and experimenting with computers from a young age.


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Customer Reviews

Python is a great way to start learning programming.
Geoman
I can't recommend it more highly for anyone, especially young people and adults alike.
Bobbi
This works very well while doing the many examples the book has.
W. Tahon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This attractive and moderately-sized volume gets elementary through high school education in programming computers right, and makes the best use of the universally available (and free) "batteries-included" language--Python. In the early days of personal computers (about 1978), everyone and his brother had a Teach Yourself Basic on the TRS-80 or Apple-II programming book that got you and your kids up to speed in the Dartmouth-developed (Digital Equipment Corporation-improved) BASIC computer programming language. At that time, you were lucky if at the conclusion of the book you could produce a simple-minded character-based Tic-Tac-Toe game (or self-prompted lessons in the multiplication tables). With excellent pedagogy and the libraries (like PYGAME) now available for the modern Python programming language this book enables the home-schooled student (or timid grandparent) to build sophisticated simulations and graphical entertainment (like a virtual pet) at least equivalent to the commercial games available in that era.

Due to the excellent tools and step-by-step examples given by Warren and Carter Sande the young reader, or his/her parent, is well prepared for a modern college level course in Data Structures or Algorithms with well illustrated examples of Lists, Modules, Event-driven and Object-Oriented Programming. The use of GUI-builders and programming libraries enable the novice to achieve impressive results within the course of a few short months of self-instruction.

The book is well illustrated, and the examples and tools downloadable from the book's web site run correctly without the need to fix typo's.

All in all, the book is an excellent read for a 12-year old, or an adult novice, and will provide superb instruction and entertainment for its readers.

--Ira Laefsky
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful By I Teach Typing on July 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been programming and teaching programming at the university level for 25 years and I have been looking for years to find a book for children, like my 10 year old son, who wanted to learn about programming but were not up to the high school reading level. This book perfectly fills the niche. With clear writing, well thought through examples and gentle humor, it is superb for the young learner. My son has taken over my PC since I gave him the book. So, it is safe to say it can hold a child's attention.

The fact that it is good for a young audience does not mean that it is dumbed down too far to be useful for any age. The depth and pace of the material is appropriate for anyone, starting from scratch, who wants to learn to program from lots of examples. Actually, it sets the stage nicely for someone who is anxious about needing to learn programming at the university level.

The only real down side is the support for Mac. The book uses Python which works on Mac, Windows and Linux but a couple of the components used in the book do not have good instructions for the Mac on the books website. For example, they are written for older Mac OS or require you to dig deep in the system files to find the directories where things belong. The forums on the website will help but expect to need to dig around a bit, especially if you use Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard), until the author(s) fix the main Mac instructions.

Even though I had to poke around a bit to make sure the Mac would behave, I still love this book. Setting aside the fact that this fills a badly need gap in programming instruction for kids, this book is just great with a wonderful ratio of code snippets to explanations and clear concise discussions of both basic and fairly advanced concepts (like object oriented programming).
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Papa Bear on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
The programming principals in the book are sound and valid. However, the book was written based on Python 2.5 instead of Python 3.0 which is a sticking point; I say this because the original release date in late 2008 would have allowed for for at least Python 2.6, but I digress. Each project in the book builds upon the previous module that was covered which is good, however the opportunity to teach core programming principals at one time in the beginning is missed. The text is easy to read and the syntax is explained well with relevant explanations. By the end of the book, the reader should be able to make a text-based programs, a windowed program, and different forms of arcade games. I was very pleased to see the layout for a card game which no one else has done to date. However, the author presents a lot of various graphic user interface mechanisms and doesn't really focus enough on them before moving on. Several editors for python are covered as well; some are challenging to install and configure which could be discouraging. I would like to point out that the author's use of EasyGUI is great because it is easier to use than Tkinter that comes standard with Python and allows the user to make text based programs more user friendly. However, he moves from EasyGUI to Pygame (which could be a book unto itself) and then to Python Card (which needs another module wxpython). My point is that it would have been better if he had stuck with EasyGUI and focused more on one of the graphic modules instead of dabbling with all of them. I was fortunate that the book was offered at my local library. If you dont get this book, then I would recommend "Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 2nd Edition" by Al Sweigart which is written in Python 3 (and available as a free PDF) or "Game Programming: The L Line, The Express Line to Learning" (The L Line: The Express Line To Learning) by Andy Harris even though it's written with Python 2.
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