Monday, February 5, 2018

Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done, by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser (ages 12 and up)

Here's a truth that won't surprise many teens: our society has normalized video games that are full of violence, shootings and death, and many have hypersexualized images of women. Here's another truth: while images of violent bloodshed has become normalized, our society still shuns mention of women's menstruation and periods.

Two teens decided to take action to change this. Read their story in Girl Code, a terrific memoir to hand to teens interested in using coding to make a difference and have their voice heard.
Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done
by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser
HarperCollins, 2017
Amazon / your public library / read a sample
ages 12-17
Andrea (known as Andy) and Sophie are two New York teenage girls who met at the summer program Girls Who Code. Andy, from the East Village and the Bronx, had some coding experience before from previous summer camps. Sophie, from the Upper West Side, had never coded before. While Andy has been a lifelong gamer and is a programmer's daughter, Sophie was drawn to Girls Who Code as a way to get experience speaking out and finding her voice. Both write clearly about their own nervousness coming into the program and the coding world.

As soon as they started working together, Sophie and Andy knew that they wanted to create a project that combined social commentary with coding in a fun, fresh way. The started talking about the social taboo surrounding menstruation and how it might be fun to create a game that made people talk about this. Their result was Tampon Run, where the protagonist throws tampons at her enemies.

Tampon Run went viral, bringing Andy and Sophie attention and networking opportunities. It's pretty astounding how quickly they went from being kids goofing around with coding to young adults on the national stage. These opportunities presented challenges of their own, and they speak frankly about how they're trying to evaluate their futures.

Teens will enjoy seeing how Andy & Sophie grappled with self-doubt, worked together and persevered to create something fun and meaningful. Most teens know that coding is an important skill for their futures; this memoir shows what it might actually look like.

Find out more at Andy & Sophie's site: Girl Code. The review copy came from my public library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2018 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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