The Friendship Code (Girls Who Code)

The Friendship Code by Stacia Deutsch is the first book in the Girls Who Code series. This series, which is expected to have 13 books in all, is created in partnership with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization focused on educating girls in computer sciences.

friendship codeSixth-grader Lucy is excited to finally join her middle school’s coding club. She’s convinced that with a little instruction, she’ll be creating her own apps in no time. But the first meeting of coding club does not go how Lucy expects. First, she’s put in a group with her estranged friend Sophia, intimidating seventh-grader Maya, and Erin, the new girl in school. Then, her teacher asks the students to step away from their computers and instead directs them in an abstract lesson in computer logic involving sandwiches. Frustrated and impatient, Lucy begs her older brother Alex, a proficient coder, to teach her how to code for real. But Alex refuses and advises his sister to follow her teacher’s lessons and trust the process.

Then one day, Lucy begins receiving a series of mysterious notes, written in code syntax, promising to help accelerate her learning if she follows a set of instructions. Could her prankster brother be sending the notes, or is someone else behind it? To decipher the code and complete a series of tasks, Lucy ends up turning to the last people she expected: the other girls in her coding club group.

The Friendship Code is an entertaining chapter book that is reminiscent of classic series like The Baby-Sitters Club but with a fun, modern twist. Part mystery, part realistic fiction, with a diverse cast of characters and a strong emphasis on themes of friendship and collaboration, this story will appeal to any girl, even those who haven’t expressed interest in coding or computer sciences.

One of the missions of the Girls Who Code movement is to normalize girls in STEM, and this book accomplishes that! I believe that many of the girls who read this book will be inspired to start their own coding clubs, just like one at Lucy’s school. I recommend The Friendship Code for ages 8-12.

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