Monday, September 17, 2012

Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games

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Scratch is one of the first computer programming languages a new programmer learns. Scratch allows you create interactive games, stories, music and art, with virtually instant results. The Learning through Engineering, Art and Design (LEAD) Project has put together a book, Super Scratch Programming Adventure! (No Starch Press, August 2012), that introduces Scratch to young geeks (8+) in a fun, full-color, cartoon-illustrated fashion.
Here is the synopsis of Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games from the back cover of the book:

Comics! Games! Programming! 

Scratch is the wildly popular educational programming language used by millions of first-time learners in classrooms, libraries, and homes worldwide. By dragging together colorful blocks of code, kids quickly learn computer programming concepts and make cool games and animations.  

In Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their own playable video games. They'll create projects inspired by classic arcade games that can be programmed (and played!) in an afternoon. The book's patient, step-by-step explanation of the code and fun programming challenges will have kids creating their own games in no time.  

This full-color comic book makes programming concepts like flow control, subroutines, and data types effortless to absorb. Packed with ideas for games that kids will be proud to show off, Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is the perfect first step for the budding programmer. 

About the Author: The Learning through Engineering, Art and Design (LEAD) Project is an educational initiative established to encourage the development of creative thinking through the use of technology. Created by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, the LEAD Project promotes hands-on, design-based activities to foster innovation, problem-solving skills, and technical literacy. 

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! covers Scratch version 1.4.

I live with a couple of computer geeks (and I honestly, mean that in the best way possible)--my husband and my 5 year old son. Those 2 can spend hours on the computer together and they are both gamers, so when I handed them a copy of Super Scratch Programming Adventure! they were occupied for hours!  This book alone would have been below my husband's level, and above my 5 year old son's level--but together they had a grand ole time creating different programs--every so often, I would hear a shout, "Look Mom! Look what we did!," it cracked me up to see just how proud of their accomplishments my son was! It was also some really great father-son bonding time (which my son craves)!  We definitely think Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is the perfect starter book for the new programmer in your life, it was easy to read, follow, understand and implement--in just a short period of time, they will have a program up and running too!

 Thank you to No Starch for my sample used in this review, opinions are honest.  Review by Michelle.

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