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Books for your computer science classroom

Genre: Gaming, Science, Science Fiction, Technology
Age group: 12-14, 15-18
Computer science book list collage

This list features a selection of books relevant to pupils studying computer science. It's a great resource for recommending books to interested pupils, or for staff looking for a text to build on as a cross-curricular project.

Helen Harvey Emmy Levels Up

Emmy's life online and her life at school couldn't be more different. Online, she plays as a powerful fire elemental with breath of fire and claws made of magma. Thousands of fans flock to watch her defeat the online ultimate baddie: the Mulch Queen! At school, Emmy is an outcast – bullied by the popular girls for her bad handwriting and the fact she has no dad. Can Emmy use her online persona to help solve the problems she's facing?

Sarah Graley Glitch

Izzy has a secret that no one in her regular life knows about – she's able to enter her new video game, meeting robots and fighting Big Bosses for real! But balancing saving a virtual world with her real life – including her best friend Eric – might be too difficult. This graphic novel is great for fans of video games that explore whole other worlds!

Rachel Ignotofsky The History of the Computer

This illustrated non-fiction book takes readers through ancient history to modern day – showing how the earliest known counting systems led to the complex algorithms used today. It highlights key figures in the computing world including An Wang, Margaret Hamilton and Tim Berners-Lee. It's illustrations lay out key concepts, including a computer's key components, software terms and binary and logic gates, in a way that's accessible and illustrates the vast possibility of what computers can do!

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real Life

This graphic novel excellently demonstrates how the internet effects, and shapes, economics. Anda loves an MMORPG called Coarsegold, where players spend months gaining enough experience and gold to create the perfect avatar. But soon Anda befriends Raymond, a gold farmer who works 16 hour days to find objects he can sell to other players. What follows is a compassionate look at poverty, unions, and a love of gaming.

Brittney Morris Slay

No one knows Kiera is the secret developer of an online role-playing card game, SLAY, not even her boyfriend. But when a teenager is killed in Kansas City following an online dispute in the game, Keira has to fight to save the space she has created. This book looks at the safe community video games can create for those who face inequality or oppression in society. The author, Brittney Morris, is also a writer and narrative designer for video games.

Alison Weatherby The Secrets Act

This historical novel looks at the women who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. Pearl and Ellen are sent to work as code-breakers, but are caught up in a spy plot that threatens the safety of the whole country. The novel offers insight into how early coding was crucial during WWII, and the unsung women who were central to cracking them.

John J Hill Sarah Graley Sfé R. Monster Minecraft Volume 1

For pupils interested in the video game Minecraft, this first instalment in the tie-in graphic novel series is a great way to engage them in reading through an already familiar world! Tyler and his family move away from his home town, but luckily he can still connect with his best friends through the game including travelling to the End to fight the ender dragon. This is a fun adventure that also explores how video games can connect us with others.

Aimee Lucido In the Key of Code

Emmy's family move for her father's new job with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, putting her in a new school where she feels completely out of place. But her school computer science club offers her a new language – Java – one she can understand through music, and her new friendship with a fellow programmer, Abigail. This novel in verse is a creative take on the language of computers, including using Java's syntax and concepts in the book itself.

Sydney Padua The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

This graphic novel reimagines the friendship of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, the creators of the first computer, into a series of adventures across Victorian London. Padua imagines an alternate world where Lovelace and Babbage's Difference Machine fight crime, eradicate spelling mistakes and create their own system of economics. It offers a fun and unusual look at the real history behind computers and imagines what could have been if history went down a different path. . .

Meagan Marie Women In Gaming

This book celebrates the women in the video gaming industry, from those who helped build it, to those who have disrupted and diversified it, and to the young readers who may lead it one day! Each essay looks at the impact of women across the careers in gaming, including design, programming, animation and writing. This book is filled with advice for any young women interested in a career in video gaming and offers real insight to the contributions women have made across history.