Thursday, September 8, 2016

{Blog Tour} Reading Without Walls

Thursday, September 8, 2016 with 3 comments

Welcome to my stop on the Reading Without Walls Blog Tour! Per the publisher:
The goal of the blog tour is to share Paths & Portals, and also to support Gene Luen Yang's "Reading Without Walls" platform as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by encouraging people to read STEM books.
I am a big proponent of influencing children to become STEM students and nurturing their love of science and math and all things technology into something great. And that includes my own kiddo. Not that I really have to do anything more than put her on the right path because she's naturally very curious and industrious. ;0)

For my stop, my daughter and I are discussing Paths & Portals (our review is below) and chatting about STEM titles in general and what they mean to (and for) kids.

Title: Secret Coders: Paths & Portals
Author: Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes (illustrator)
Series: Secret Coders, book #2
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Source: received from publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
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!

I sat Katie down to read Paths & Portals one evening while I was cooking dinner. One of her nightly assignments is to read for 20 minutes, and I thought that this book would last her all week and then she could help me review it. But she loved it so much that she read it all in one sitting! She's already shown quite the interest in coding -- which is why we're looking at getting her this for Christmas -- so it really shouldn't have been any surprise how easily this story captured her attention.

This book is a graphic novel, which isn't altogether my favorite format for reading, but I knew it would probably interest Katie even more than her usual reads because it was illustrated. And she agreed that it was definitely more fun to read than a regular novel. Katie also had fun pointing out that it was utilizing subject matter that she was already learning in school, such as rounding and patterns/repetition.

We both enjoyed the fact that Hopper is a girl who codes because it shows that anyone can code and that it's fun for both boys and girls. Katie said, "I liked the girl the best because she was kinda nerdy and basically always happy. She showed that girls can code, too. She actually does most of the coding, creating commands to make a robot do what she wants, even her homework."

And the fun thing is, you don't have to read the first book in this series to read this one, but Katie's already asking to read it AND when the next book comes out. And I just know that my nephews are going to want to borrow her copies because it's already a subject they enjoy and relate to.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife and children and teaches at a Roman Catholic high school.

Find Gene:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook

I'm so proud that Katie is already of the mind that girls can do anything they set their minds to, but I'm even more excited about her love of all things science and technology. She's constantly asking for science kits and loves watching the girls of Project Mc² and visiting Minecrafters coding on their YouTube channels.

But she also loves that there are increasingly more STEM titles being made available for kids. She says that having these kinds of books makes it easier for kids to get into those activities, and I have to agree that they definitely make the subject more accessible. Not every kid starts off as science- and technology-minded as Katie, but books like these are a great start.


Check out what others are saying about Secret Coders: Paths & Portals and then be sure to follow the rest of the Reading Without Walls Blog Tour:


August 31: Colby at Sharp Read
September 1: Jess at Reading Nook Reviews
September 2: Samantha at Forest of Words and Pages
September 5: Jennifer at YA Book Nerd
September 6: Maria at Maria's Mélange
September 7: Gigi at Late Bloomer's Book Blog
September 8Jen at The Starry Eyed Revue
September 9Cheyenne at The Hollow Cupboards
September 12Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
September 13April at Good Books and Good Wine
September 14Cindy at Charting by the Stars
September 15Erica at The Book Cellar
September 16Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks
September 19: Asheley at Into the Hall of Books
September 20: Daphne at Gone Pecan
September 21Mary Ann at Great Kids Books
September 22: Kathy at The Brain Lair
September 23: Michelle & Leslie at Undeniably (Book) Nerdy
September 26Laurie at Reader Girls
September 27: Margie at Librarian's Quest
September 28Victoria at Art, Books, & Coffee
September 29Cee at The Novel Hermit
September 30: Amanda at Forever Young Adult




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