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Python for Kids


Look inside!
Subterranean giraffe!Cute Calculator
A Playful Introduction to Programming
by Jason R. Briggs

December 2012, 344 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-407-8
Full Color

The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!

Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone.

Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The ever-patient Jason R. Briggs will guide you through the basics as you experiment with unique (and often hilarious) example programs that feature ravenous monsters, secret agents, thieving ravens, and more. New terms are defined; code is colored, dissected, and explained; and quirky, full-color illustrations keep things on the lighter side.

Chapters end with programming puzzles designed to stretch your brain and strengthen your understanding. By the end of the book you’ll have programmed two complete games: a clone of the famous Pong and “Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit”—a platform game with jumps, animation, and much more.

As you strike out on your programming adventure, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use fundamental data structures like lists, tuples, and maps
  • Organize and reuse your code with functions and modules
  • Use control structures like loops and conditional statements
  • Draw shapes and patterns with Python’s turtle module
  • Create games, animations, and other graphical wonders with tkinter

Why should serious adults have all the fun? Python for Kids is your ticket into the amazing world of computer programming.

For kids ages 10+ (and their parents)

Featuring original artwork by Miran Lipovača!


About the Author

Jason Briggs has been a programmer since the age of eight, when he first learned BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80. Since then he has written software professionally as a developer and systems architect and served as Contributing Editor for Java Developer's Journal. His articles have appeared in JavaWorld, ONJava and ONLamp. Python for Kids is his first book.


Table of Contents

About the Author and Technical Reviewers
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I: Learning to Program

Chapter 1: Not All Snakes Slither
Chapter 2: Calculations and Variables
Chapter 3: Strings, Lists, Tuples, and Maps
Chapter 4: Drawing with Turtles
Chapter 5: Asking Questions with if and else
Chapter 6: Going Loopy
Chapter 7: Recycling Your Code with Functions and Modules
Chapter 8: How to Use Classes and Objects
Chapter 9: Python’s Built-In Functions
Chapter 10: Useful Python Modules
Chapter 11: More Turtle Graphics
Chapter 12: Using tkinter for Better Graphics

Part II: Bounce!

Chapter 13: Beginning Your First Game: Bounce!
Chapter 14: Finishing Your First Game: Bounce!

Part III: Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit

Chapter 15: Creating Graphics for the Mr. Stick Man Game
Chapter 16: Developing the Mr. Stick Man Game
Chapter 17: Creating Mr. Stick Man
Chapter 18: Completing the Mr. Stick Man Game

Afterword: Where to Go from Here
Appendix: Python Keywords
Glossary
Index

View the Index (PDF)
View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)

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Reviews

Featured on Boing Boing (Read More)

"Jason Briggs manages to successfully describe programming to kids without sounding like he’s dumbing down the content. . . . The lessons are well-constructed and leave the reader with a feeling of accomplishment in each chapter."
—Marziah Karch, Wired.com's GeekMom blog (Read More)

"An excellent introduction to programming for anyone interested in learning to program, regardless of their age. The material is extremely well organized and presented, and makes for a great resource for either home or school."
—Roy Wood, GeekDad (Read More)

"This book offers a good introduction to computer programming. . . . Using Python for Kids to learn this skill would be an excellent family bonding experience, and the added perk of jointly creating a computer game wouldn't hurt."
—Patrice Gans, Education Week's BookMarks blog (Read More)

"By the end of the book you have a fully-functional platform game running, and most likely a head full of ideas about your next game . . . Python for Kids is just as good an introduction for adults learning to code."
—Matthew Humphries, Geek.com (Read More)

"Easy to read, provides sound programming advice and very clear explanations of how programming languages work. A great book for anyone who wants to break into programming without pangs of inadequacy."
—Sandra Henry-Stocker, ITworld (Read More)

"The use of colorized text in this book makes the material so much easier to comprehend and read . . . I am now generally conversant with the basic tools used in Python."
—Phil Shapiro, Opensource.com (Read More)

"The book is well-written, engaging, and full of simple words for simple people like me. . . There's nothing quite like seeing the simple lines of code create something on the screen and knowing how and why it happened."
—Copil Yáňez, Full Circle Magazine

"The book is engaging and full of colors to keep young readers engaged in their programming adventures . . . I recommend this book to both kids and new users who wish to learn Python."
—nixCraft (Read More)

Reviewed by National Geographic's "ScienceBlogs" (Read More)

"The nice, easy to read style of the book that keeps to a gamification style of programming throughout will certainly appeal to youngsters."
—Carl Turland, Coding at School (Read More)

"The author’s writing style and the cute little cartoon character illustrations scattered throughout the book made it much less 'dry' than a typical computer programming guide."
—Dana Hinders, Smart Mom Picks (Read More)

"Whoever you are, if you're looking for an in-depth yet very accessible approach to learning to program, Python for Kids offers a whole lot of knowledge in a step-by-step way that will have you writing code in no time at all."
—Amy Nelson, Games Fiends (Read More)

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