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22gigantes.com - Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.There's something lurking beneath the surface of Stately Academy—literally. In a secret underground classroom Hopper, Eni, and Josh discover that the campus was once home to the Bee School, an institute where teachers, students, and robots worked together to unravel the mysteries of coding. Hopper and her friends are eager to follow in this tradition and become top-rate coders. But why are Principal Dean and the rugby team suddenly so interested in their extracurricular activities?From graphic novel superstar (and high school computer programming teacher) Gene Luen Yang comes the second volume of Secret Coders, Paths & Portals, a wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot!
Most helpful customer reviews 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Not a stand-alone! By OpenBookSociety dot com Brought to you by OBS er ScottWarning: This book does not stand on its own. It requires you to have read the previous book The Secret Coders, and is not a self-contained entity. That being said The Secret Coders: Paths and Portals carries on from where the previous book left off, and leaves you hanging (not the best feeling in the world). A tribute to LOGO, the computer programming language that is making a resurgence in early programming courses, The Secret Coders: Paths and Portals expands on the program command techniques learned in the earlier works, and adds to them. All and all, this is a good start for any young programmer, to sink their teeth into. Functioning on logic and problem solving, using coding, is a healthy way to introduce the little ones to critical thinking skills and the applications of which to use them.Writing on computer programming in a fun and entertaining way – especially those books targeted at younger readers – is a rare thing these days. The Secret Coders series seeks to fill that gap, through the adventures of the three high school protagonists. The writing is light, and pensive, explaining the reasoning and logic in the manipulation of the robot turtles (how cool is that?). In the programming down time, the book switches gears and provides an entertaining look at the high school shenanigans, and turmoil that accompany life at the Stately Academy. While not poorly written, the science seems to come before the art, so to speak, causing a real lack of character development; not that this is a great loss in a mostly academic work. It does try to pull out the fun in programming, though, and teaches the art of paths, such as snowflake designs and other patterns, so it must be pointed out that there is some merit to the writing, entertainment-wise. The plot moves quickly, except during the programming moments in which the graphic novel slows down, such that comprehension can be developed. Quick paced and with twists and turns around any “portal,” The Secret Coders: Paths and Portals lives up to its namesake.Artistically speaking, however, this is a throwback to the halcyon days of ‘50’s retro art. The characters look like they are right out of a Hanna Barbara cartoon, and this makes the pensive subject matter a little more easy to bear. Line weight is even, and there are minimal distractions in the artwork. What is needed is placed there meticulously. It’s almost a joy seeing this art form come back to the fore and The Secret Coders: Paths and Portals delivers it in spades. A simplified style, dynamic and poignant, eases the readers back into the story with minimal fuss, or distraction. Hazed over panel shots are new to this installment, however, and its purpose, to those not used to graphic novels, might take time to take in. This may be expanded on in the next book but for now, it remains a child’s enigma.For the eager, young computer programmer in the family, or those wistful of a bygone age of programming, The Secret Coders: Paths and Portals is a good introduction to the art of logically working out computer programming. Skills from this book can be applied across languages, so LOGO isn’t the be all and end all of the story. Hopefully, in future installments, the stories will be more self-contained. This might prove difficult, as the nature of programming builds upon itself. With this being only the second book in the series, the opportunity to grab the two is not without reason. If you have a young inquiring mind about the technology in your house, look no further than the Secret Coders series. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Too bland to be effective By Alt Paths was written as an introduction to programming for elementary school kids. Characters learn how to program robot turtles to turn corners. Their instructor is a janitor who used to be a professor until … well, I wouldn’t want to give away the plot in this gripping story.Actually, the story is dull. Really dull. It's meant to get kids interested in programming (maybe it’s part of Microsoft’s plot to create a vast wasteland of programmers) but the story is so bland that I can’t imagine any kid making it to the end. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Yang is one of my favourite graphic novelists but this series doesn't do it for ... By Nicola Mansfield Yang is one of my favourite graphic novelists but this series doesn't do it for me. The first one was better as I found it unique but now it just tires for an adult reader. But let's take it for what it is. This is a book meant to be educational and get kids interested in coding. In that context, it does a good job of teaching and adding an extra bit of story with the kids having to deal with bullies and the big bad principal. See all 7 customer reviews...
"Gene Yang brings computer coding to life." "Entertainment Weekly"""Gene Yang brings computer coding to life." "Entertainment Weekly""Gene Luen Yang s talent is prodigious, his enthusiasm contagious....Even this confirmed technophobe was ready to learn coding." Katherine Applegate, author of "Crenshaw" and "The One and Only Ivan""Well-rounded, informative, and gamelike, this will appeal to plenty of graphic-novel fans." "Booklist"""Gene Yang brings computer coding to life." Entertainment Weekly"Gene Luen Yang s talent is prodigious, his enthusiasm contagious....Even this confirmed technophobe was ready to learn coding." Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw and The One and Only Ivan"Well-rounded, informative, and gamelike, this will appeal to plenty of graphic-novel fans." Booklist" About the Author Gene Luen Yang has written and drawn many comics, including the hit "Avatar: The Last Airbender" series."American Born Chinese" was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He also won the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize for "Boxers & Saints." Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. geneyang.comMike Holmes has drawn for the comics series Bravest Warriors, "Adventure Time," and the viral art project Mikenesses. His books include the "True Story" collection (2011), "This American Drive" (2009), and "Shenanigans." He lives with a cat named Ella, who is his best buddy.
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