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Lauren Ipsum Paperback – November 20, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Inspiring students to become the developers, engineers, and innovators who will create solutions to some of the Nation's toughest challenges." -The White House

"A Looking Glass tale for the computer age." -School Library Journal

"Lauren Ipsum is part of a much larger movement that seeks to bring programming skills to, well, everyone." -Wired
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 04 - 07
  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461178185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461178187
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Lauren Ipsum is a remarkable book, the latest in the exalted but rarefied tradition that runs from Lewis Carroll through The Phantom Tollbooth, making stops at Godel Escher Bach and others along the way. It covers a whimsical journey with fun characters across unknown cognitive lands, bringing to life logic and computer science puzzlers and thought experiments. Recommended for advanced youngsters and adults who are young at heart and like thinking about what they read. It's gentle and unintimidating if you're just curious, but I'm a professional technologist and still learned and solidified some great concepts while reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was excited when I first learned about this project almost a month ago. Carlos decided to post the first chapter up on the projects main website which hooked me instantly. As soon as it was available I got it for the kindle and took the time to read it fully.

The exceptional part of this work is that it is an accessible introduction to computer science and how the various systems work. While this is not the first attempt I've seen at directing kids into the fascinating world of computer science, this is the first one that doesn't stumble on presenting complex topics such as math as a workbook or otherwise try to explain binary in a "textbook" sort of way.

Everything is presented in a very Alice in Wonderland style of story where every concept is explained from a character's point of view and uses characterizations to convey or represent specific concepts. In the case of binary, Carlos presents the ways that it is used first showing it in action, with our heroine, Laurie, asking the "how does it do that?" question which gets explained clearly by another character. Covering things like algorithms, encryption, security concepts, precision and heuristics, even presenting how to work on a timing attack. Userland is also described beautifully and makes some, not as obvious as other, attempts at explaining how computer systems are organized.

As an adult, I enjoyed the read. It was fun to go through and constantly going back through the chapters going "Ahh, I see what you did there!" All in all I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just kids.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read then and I have written them, but few books have changed the way I think about software development like Lauren Ipsum. Never have I read a clearer, more descriptive rendition of what computer science is REALLY about. So glad I sponsored the Kickstarter. After reading it myself and having my wife read it (She now knows I am a Composer!) I have been reading it to my son, a little at a time.

If you are even slightly interested in engineering, computer science or maths, you should give this book a try. I don't love many books, but when I do they have Turtles!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great little book, modeled on Alice in Wonderland, updated and used to actually illustrate concepts in math and computer science. I think it would be fun to read aloud to a child. The structure of the book works; the chameleon is a nice foil to the main character, Lauren, and the problems are beautifully explained.

My problem with it was that it fell just short of what could have been wonderful: Lauren doesn't seem to have much personality or much of a response to anything. She's become a cardboard character - and she didn't need to be. It's all potentially there in the story. If the book is read aloud, this can be added in by the narrator, but it could have been on the page.

I think this would make a neat film.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall this book is okay. I liked the basic concept: a book about concepts in computing, programming and computing science, etc. that doesn't get bogged down in only being about computing. I believe that it does meet that goal, but I don't think that I could hand this to somebody who was feeling challenged by the topics of computing and have them actually make the connections between what they are reading and the intended lesson as it relates to computing.

If you are a person who has a solid background in computing and programming, but haven't been able to get some concepts across to the curious non-programmers in your personal circles of influence, this book could provide a good structure for you to use to ground certain concepts in ways that are free of the jargon you might use without thinking when trying to explain concepts to those people.

Much like a children's story book where the moral of the story of a child's book often is lost on the child unless the topic is discussed with them and reinforced in other ways, so too with this book. I do think this book would be most useful if used that way, but I'm not convinced that it could be successfully used to convey its concepts without that kind of external guidance: the abstraction from computing and programming is useful, but perhaps too successful to enable it to be used as a direct learning experience on its own.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Written by an engineer working for Facebook and his wife, "Lauren Ipsum" is meant to be a book for teaching computer science to children. This is done in the form of a fairy tale that doesn't actually involve any computers, but instead focusses on programming as a way of thinking. This is a commendable teaching approach and to be honest not only children can profit from this. In fact I'm likely to use some of the stories and metapors from the book in future discussions, especially the one about the "byzantine process". Note that this is also fun for grown-ups, since it's full of nerdy puns that will be lost on kids anyway ("a maze of twisty little passages" anyone?).
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