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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellent Teach Your Kids (Or Teach Yourself) Programming In The Python Language Book.
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...
Published on May 11, 2009 by Ira Laefsky

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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Principals - Bad Timing - Poor Focus
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,...
Published on July 17, 2010 by Papa Bear


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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellent Teach Your Kids (Or Teach Yourself) Programming In The Python Language Book., May 11, 2009
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but designed for PC not Mac, July 24, 2009
By 
I Teach Typing (Miami, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
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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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Principals - Bad Timing - Poor Focus, July 17, 2010
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (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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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book for kids!, June 1, 2009
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
My husband's a computer programmer, and my nine year old son told us he wants to learn how to write computer programs too. I did a lot of looking around for something that would be suitable for my son to use, and finally discovered this book.

We had to wait a while for this book, as the release date was changed and there were other problems, but this was definitely worth the wait. My son read through the book in no time flat, and definitely understands what's in it.

The next step is for the two of them to sit down and go through the code examples together.

Mr. Sande (young and old), thank you so much for writing this book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great educational fun, July 14, 2009
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
My daughter and I have been enjoying working through this book together. The choice of an open, multi-platform language is nice, as almost anyone with a computer can take advantage of what it has to offer.

Python has many great libraries and the use of Pygame makes possible some projects that would be much too difficult for this level of work. That really hooked my daughter, the ability to make her own games. We've been having a blast working through the book together.

There are tons of learning opportunities that take things well outside the realm of just 'programming'. I recommend this book to anyone with kids that are inclined towards doing more with a computer than just running applications.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellet Book For Kids and Adults, August 13, 2009
By 
Mr. Panah Mosaferirad "joshua_pan" (Philadelphia, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
Programming is not for everyone, but for those who are passionate about creating new programs and using their creativity to solve problems, there is nothing like it. A lot of people have this notion that you have got to be young or under a certain age to be able to pick up programming. That couldn't be further from the truth. As long as you are passionate about writing programs and solving problems, the sky's the limit. That's why I love Hello World! As an experienced computer scientist, I loved the fact that it focuses on the fundamentals of programming that everyone needs to know in order to become a decent programmer. A lot of people in the IT complain about a lot of programmers not knowing their basics, but with this book, you are going to learn how to get started with programming without cutting corners.

Here is what's covered in this book:

1. Programming Fundamentals
2. Memory and Variables
3. Data Types
4. Loops (all kinds)
5. Lists and Collections
6. Objects
7. Graphics
8. Events
9. Multimedia & Graphics
10. Handing Strings
11. File I/O Management
12. GUIs and More

Please note that this book is written for absolute beginners. So do not expect heavy duty graphics programming to be discussed in this book. At the same time, if you have no idea how to get started with programming, you are going to enjoy reading this book. Python is a nice language to get started with. The book has a very fun tone to it, and it doesn't go over your head. You can easily follow the instructions in this book and even test yourself in each chapter.

It's never too late to get started with programming. You can always jump in and pick up a more advanced book, but if you want do things the right way and start with the fundamentals first, Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners is a very good book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes me back to when I was a kid, August 7, 2009
By 
Daniel Lemire (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
I learned programming on my own when I was twelve years old with a TRS-80 and Microsoft Basic. The documentation that came with the TRS-80 was fantastic. Alas, today, when buying a computer, no vendor would ever think of including an introduction to programming as part of the package. If your are a dad (or a mom) and you regret this, then Hello World: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Warren and Carter Sande is for you.

As a kid, my initial goal was to create my own video games. And I did! I learned (entirely on my own) that:

* Even though computers are fast, it is hard to create fast software. Being clever is hard work!

* While it is easy to program a small game, programming a slightly more complex game can be orders of magnitude more difficult.

This book should allow your kids to learn as much and more.

Instead of using Microsoft Basic, the authors use Python. An excellent choice. They cover all the same material as in my venerable TRS-80 documentation: random numbers, variables, loops, graphics, functions and sound. However, there are a few more advanced concepts: dynamic arrays, arrays of arrays, objects, modules, file input and output, and event-based programming.

Note that many of the examples of the book would not run on the latest Python release (3.1). That is a minor concern since I would recommend you stay away from Python 3 in any case.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Intro to Programming Book, May 10, 2010
By 
S. Dunning "sdunnin" (Edwardsville, il USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
My 9yr old son who has had his own computer for several years recently showed an interest in programming and understanding how computers work. I found this book and purchased it for him. He couldn't wait for it to arrive and kept asking every day until it showed up. Once he started he was halfway through the book in no time and was writing his own programs. Being a software developer myself I had to coach him through a few things but for the most part he was able to learn from the book.

I also liked how the book chose Python and stick to the basics rather than get lost into creating fancy graphical interfaces right away.

UPDATE: He is 12 now and now programming much more advanced things in Python, including basic games. He has read the from book cover-to-cover and lent it to a friend who read it front-to-back as well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone Can Do It, January 9, 2010
By 
A. Mcpherson (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
This book is one of the best programming books I've ever read. OReilly books are very informative but extremely boring. I'm 24 and know nothing about programming and those other books did nothing to excite me in my endeavor. However after getting half way through this book I am amazed at how easy the concepts are taught. Elementary kids should be taught this, and they can without being bored. I'm very happy I bought this book even though at the time I considered myself too mature for it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Kids!, May 8, 2009
By 
CLR (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners (Paperback)
The authors have done a wonderful job introducing the basics of computer programming through Python. I gave this book to my 9-year-old, and he's hooked! The exercises are fun and engaging, and the text and graphics are easy for him to follow.

This book comes highly recommended!
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Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners
Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Warren Sande (Paperback - May 5, 2009)
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