|Emmy in the key of code
Author: Lucido, Aimee
Sixth-grader Emmy tries to find her place in a new school and to figure out how she can create her own kind of music using a computer.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.90
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 505286
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/19)
School Library Journal (00/08/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 Twelve-year-old Emmy is the new kid, transplanted from Wisconsin to San Francisco. Despite a musical upbringing (Mom sings opera; Dad is a concert pianist), Emmy doesn't have any musical talent and even blacked out on stage during her last recital. When it's time to sign up for electives, all the cool girls take music, so intimidated Emmy winds up in computer science. After a rocky start, Emmy makes friends, becomes immersed in coding, and develops a special bond with her computer teacher, Ms. Delaney. Inevitable middle-school drama ensues, including the devastating news that Ms. Delaney is ill. By the book's end, Emmy has developed a passion for coding music and found new social confidence, despite Ms. Delaney's worsening prognosis. The book features a free-verse format that perfectly captures Emmy's seesawing emotions and allows for the seamless incorporation of lines of code that show how composing music and creating code follow similar patterns. Music, coding, strong female techie role models—this engaging first novel should attract a wide audience. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 5–7—On her first day at her new school in San Francisco, 12-year-old Emmy is asked to choose an elective. Although one of the options is music (the one she should want, given her opera singer mother and concert pianist father), she has always felt like a disappointment as a musician. Instead, she leaves the form blank and ends up as one of two girls in a computer programming class. At first, the class only adds to Emmy's sense of not belonging, especially because one of the boys makes derisive noises and faces at her whenever she tries to speak. But Emmy finds that she loves her coding teacher, Mrs. Delaney. As she learns more about coding in JAVA, she discovers a way to create her own kind of music and makes a new best friend along the way. As Emmy's computer programming classes progress, the poems integrate the JAVA terminology and syntax she has learned, until the pages begin to look like computer code that still reads like poetry. JAVA terms are also defined on separate pages within each chapter, as well as in a glossary at the end of the book. In this ambitious novel in free verse, the characters and relationships are complex and believable as Emmy struggles to understand her new best friend Abigail, her bully Francis, her teacher's illness, and her parents' own difficulties adapting to their new jobs. The book also touches on some of the challenges girls face in pursuing STEM-related fields, while portraying the different ways computers can be used to create something new and fun. VERDICT This unusual tale seamlessly weaves basic computer coding concepts into a compelling story about middle schoolers struggling to forge their own identities in spite of the expectations of their families and society.—Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.