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Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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This is a very cool book. I suggest you read it first for yourself, so that you can prepare to get the "voices" right when you do read it to your young ones. It took a couple or chapters or more before they got into it, but once they did, they did not want to stop. Then they wanted it read over and over.
I wish there were more books about science and technology that was this direct, simple, straightforward, and made the subject approachable. I'm not able to pick out what needs to be said about complex subjects and then say them simply, so this writer has done a particularly admirable job.
This is a cute story for anyone that already understands CS concepts. I think it is a little too subtle for anyone else. The main character tangentially encounters many CS concepts and uses a few, but the story never really explains any of them in a particularly meaningful or memorable way. There is an appendix that offers better explanations, but they lose much of their effectiveness being separate from the story.
I started the book and felt that maybe I had chosen the wrong selection for the evening. But an hour later, when I kept recognizing concepts, names, and miscellaneous facts that remain in the deep recesses of the mind, I found myself enjoying this cute little "Alice in Wonderland" type book, thinking at the end it would take some of the fear of programming away from kids who are bombarded with terminology. This took common concepts, famous names and other important bits, making them fun for even this old gal that hasn't cared for children's stories. Read it out loud to a curious child sometime and see how many concepts you now think of in terms of lighthouses and mail daemons.
There are notes in the back; I recommend reading each chapter's notes immediately after the chapter while the ideas -- and jokes -- are still fresh, but you could also take the author's advice and save the notes for last. (Or leave them for later, with a kid who just wants a fast-paced and light-hearted tale full of engaging critters, weird characters, and obscure puns.) Not quite everything is explained in the notes, either; the story stands well enough on it's own, but there's enough missing that a kid could come back to it a few years later and get more of the references.