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Secret Coders

(Secret Coders #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,525 ratings  ·  472 reviews
Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes!

From graphic novel superstar (and hi
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by First Second
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Chrissy It needs to be read in order. If you get it from the library, check them all out at once if you can. They are super short and each one is a cliff hang…moreIt needs to be read in order. If you get it from the library, check them all out at once if you can. They are super short and each one is a cliff hanger. (less)
Sarah Sammis It's a graphic novel (comic book) that's broken up into chapters. …moreIt's a graphic novel (comic book) that's broken up into chapters. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,525 ratings  ·  472 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-ya, tweens
Yang's book is for math and computer science geeks, a book for maybe tweens and middle schoolers about a girl, Hoppers, and her friend Eni, students at Stately Academy, who figure out something about the janitor's robot--who looks suspiciously like a Teenaged Mutant Turtle (cute?!)--through computer binary coding. There's a mystery about this school that requires two crack computer programmers. This is the first volume of the series, and will be entertaining for kids. If my tweens love it I migh ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this one with my son, and after we finished, he went to the secret-coders website, watched Gene Luen Yang's video, downloaded the UCBLogo program, and did one of the coding exercises. He's psyched, and can't wait for the next book! ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Whenever I see Gene Luen Yang has a new book out I get all giddy with excitement. And he has done it again and brought us something completely different and unique. The beginning of a new series "Secret Coders" has secrets, strange goings on and creepy staff at a private school that looks more like a haunted house. What makes this book so fun and novel is its interaction with the reader. Software coding is the topic of the day and Yang weaves this through the first volume by having the characte
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Perfect for Maker Spaces
Andrew Blok
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
As an extreme enthusiast/sucker for anything written by Gene Yang, I sort of expect to have my life changed in deep, fundamental ways every time I open one of his books. This book didn't do that, but it was still fun and delightful and I'm very glad to have read it. The biggest difference from his other work (what I've read) is that this book serves as a story (the characters obviously have depth and their relationships are interesting), but it also serves as an introduction to computer coding. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you have child in a late elementary grade (around 3rd through 5th) and you want to introduce them to "coding" but don't know where to start, get this book. This graphic novel presents the idea of coding and programming in a very approachable way. I love how the story ties STEM concepts into a fun "to be continued" mystery. We're looking forward to reading Secret Coders #2. And when I say "we" I mean my 6th grader who has a couple of years of coding with Logo programming language under her bel ...more
Ashlee Tominey
I honestly just picked this up because I have never read a Graphic Novel and because the topic interested me. I read most of it while my son was playing in the library. I liked the mystery and challenging myself to know what to do next. I still think I have a ways to go in my appreciation for Graphic Novels. I kept racing through the pages for the text and had to remind myself to slow down and look at the illustrations.
First Second Books
Oct 15, 2015 marked it as first-second-publications
We're all big fans of Gene Luen Yang here at First Second, and it's really impressive what he's done in this book -- taking computer programming and turning into an actual narrative story, a la Encyclopedia Brown.

The story is still fun and interesting and crazy (and full of mysterious-school-mad-science problems to solve!), but at the same time, you learn how to count in binary and the basics of how programming languages work.

And there's more story still to come -- the next volume will be in st
Wendi Lee
3.5 stars

I often go into reading without an idea of what the book is about (especially when I'm at the library or bookstore, and my toddler is giving me literally ten seconds to choose something). So, ahem. I thought this book was about tween decrypters. That sort of coding (or decoding). I am the least math oriented person, so finding out this book was about coding distressed me. I yelped about it to my partner, who is an amazing programmer, and thought I was being hilarious.

So anyway. I could
Kayla Leitschuh
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this fast-paced graphic novel! Two unlikely friends band together to solve the mysteries at their crazy school while teaching themselves (and consequently the reader) basic computer coding skills.
Abby Johnson
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this book and I think I would have dug it when I was around Hopper's age. I remember doing some coding in BASIC when I was right around her age. The story explains some basic computer programming principles like how numbers are represented in binary and how computers follow programming commands. I think kids who are interested in that sort of thing but don't yet know much about it will get a kick out of it. The story does suffer from first-in-a-series-dom and it ends with ...more
Lauren Bradley
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this book awhile a go, when I was in elementary school. At the time it felt like a book that you would read and afterwards you would feel like ‘hmm, I don’t think I gained or loss any knowledge’. The story just didn’t connect to me, all the characters felt under developed especially Josh and Hopper. I am also a young student who happens to be female like Hopper but, nothing felt REAL. The sad thing about feeling like I didn’t gain knowledge is that I still feel like that, it’s not like a ...more
I was just starting to *really* get into it and it ended!! When's the next one coming out? ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love this! It’s a great combination of a simple plot line (involving a creepy school with a secret, evil principal, and mysterious identity of a character’s parents) and some introduction to binary and the basics of computer coding. I haven’t checked out the Secret Coders website, but this is much more rudimentary than a drag and drop module of Scratch, but could eventually get complicated quickly. Great potential.

Kids will love the plot, and if they like puzzles, codes, mysteries, secret agents
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a fun, creative, and interactive way of introducing kids to coding. The coding aspects are embedded and integrated into a broader storyline following a biracial Chinese American girl who moves to a new school (where her mom teaches Chinese), only to discover that her school is hiding incredible and dangerous secrets. learning binary numbers and practicing basic programming skills is key to the progression of the story and unlocking the mysteries behind Stately Academy.
Jennifer Bacall
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An absolutely flawless tool for introducing the concepts of coding to children. Fun story with cliff hanger chapters that the children are encouraged to solve. Look at the website for more tips on teaching coding. Cheers to Gene Luen Yang for integrating the appealing medium of graphic novel with the integral introduction to coding!
Nazarene Static
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-comic
Secret Coders is a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, who is slowly but surely become a favorite of mine. This graphic novel appears to be an introduction to coding. I would consider it the dumbed down version of coding for dummies, if you will. I enjoyed it, it was a very informative yet entertaining graphic novel. It was an easy read and it did have some chuckleworthy moments.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting type of book. It's a graphics novel geared to teach the reader the basics of coding. The plot is a bit zany, but it is meant for kids and I'm not expecting an essay on binary codes. It was short read and ended in a cliffhanger and a problem to solve. Not sure if I can solve it lol. ...more
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
For late elementary school/early middle school. I like the concept of explaining a topic (such as coding) through the vehicle of a graphic novel, as opposed to a typical informational text. Characters were quirky and the book was informative, but just couldn't really get into it. ...more
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was cool. A graphic novel properly infused with a whole load of coding. I think this will go down a treat at school. A mysterious new school, a turtle robot and a strange janitor... whats the secret the school is hiding and can Hooper solve it? Yes for girl coders!
Cara's Craftsations
I learn a lot about coding.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great comic book that can teach the future programmers of tomorrow!😀
This is a fun way to introduce binary numbers and coding, but don't read unless you've got all six volumes - it ends with a real cliff-hanger.

Loved the characters and the art
Becky Loader
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh. My. Gosh.

I was obsessed with numbers when I was growing up. I would have eaten this series for breakfast and read them all by evening.

Like coding? Who wouldn't after reading this??
I was kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed this short graphic novel. There is a mystery set in a creepy school with strange adults in charge. There is also thoughtful coding activities and great gasp-worthy plot reveals. This ends in a cliffhanger and I’m interested in the second volume!
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A clever and fun graphic novel. Lots of familiar tropes here: new kid in a school with a mystery, spunky girl with a shoulder chip the size of Texas, mysterious clues for the characters to solve, etc. Still, the artwork is well done and the story is engaging. I look forward to seeing how my students take to it.
Bradon Hepworth
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being in love with code myself, I find it very interesting and cool that this author wrote a book about code.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel is actually teaching my kids (and me) coding - it's awesome! ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I loved reading Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese so much that I decided to read another book by him. Secret Coders: Get with the Program! is the first book in the series. It’s about a character named Hopper who is new to Stately Academy. Something is strange about Stately Academy, from its buildings, to its trees and to its birds. Hopper quickly becomes friends with a boy named Eni. Hopper and Eni have something in common: they both find Stately Academy creepy. They set out to find the secret b ...more
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads

Things to know about Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang

1. It's for a much younger audience. I didn't realize this at first but while I was reading it, it become clear that I was not the intended audience of Secret Coders. This didn't mean that I didn't enjoy the graphic novel, it just meant that it took me longer to get involved in the novel.

2. It isn't just about coding and computer science-y stuff. If that isn't your thing, don't worry. It i
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Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.


Other books in the series

Secret Coders (6 books)
  • Paths & Portals (Secret Coders, #2)
  • Secrets & Sequences (Secret Coders #3)
  • Robots & Repeats (Secret Coders, #4)
  • Potions & Parameters (Secret Coders, #5)
  • Monsters & Modules (Secret Coders, #6)

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