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Emmy in the Key of Code

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In this innovative middle grade novel, coding and music take center stage as new girl Emmy tries to find her place in a new school. Perfect for fans of GIRLS WHO CODE series and THE CROSSOVER.
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Versify
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Aimee Lucido
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, perhaps I'm a *little* bit biased, but THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ!!!! Recommend it to all your friends and buy it for all your children/nieces/nephews.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun book! The way it combines music and code and poetry is totally unique, and Emmy herself is such an earnest, heartfelt character looking for her place in the world. STEM-focused fiction for girls is of course very much needed, but it's not all about the coding (although the code-poetry itself is pretty awesome). Emmy's relationship with her parents, her amazing computer teacher, and the girl she hopes will be her best friend drive the story forward as Emmy learns how to find he ...more
Sarah R. Baughman
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EMMY IN THE KEY OF CODE is a brilliant mesh of music and Java, blurring lines between poetic and programmatic language. Smart, determined Emmy stays true to herself as she searches for her voice. An inspiring and enlightening read!
Tim Peacock
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read an early pre release. Started on my train to work. Got into the office and spent the first half hour of my workday finishing it. Can't wait to read the final cut!
Brian Weisfeld
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the chance to read an advance copy of EMMY and all I can say is "wow." Not sure which is more impressive - the ambition of creating a novel in verse filled with music and code or the execution! Can't wait to pass it along to my daughters to read next.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great story!! I can relate to Emmy in the musical way so can my son. See we're string players. Oh and I can't leave my mom out who started all of this. However; I don't think that ever did any music in code so this was something new to me.
My grandmother I'm sure can definitely relate most to Emmy because she was moving around to all the different schools in Ohio when she was younger. I can't imagine doing that but I'm sure it couldn't have been easy. How are you going to learn w
Blair Thornburgh
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you think you need to understand code or math to appreciate this book, I am here to reassure that that is NOT the case. Trust me, I barely made it out of Algebra II! This is a beautiful and smart novel that uses code and music AND poetry to tell a story, and a fabulous, emotional, pitch-perfect MG story at that.

Like Emmy herself, the poems are playful, heartfelt, and layered. You could use this in a classroom to discuss poetry, or music, or computer science, or just friendship and
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, the verse in this novel is beautiful - many verse novels read like prose with wacky line breaks, but this book works as poetry as well as a narrative, and it uses space really well, especially with the incorporation of code elements. The story is well-paced and well-told, the challenges of middle school are real to these characters but I think every reader will see themselves reflected, the characters are three-dimensional, and I absolutely LOVE the way Lucido makes it clear that y ...more
Chris Baron
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this novel in verse! Full review soon!
meg chia
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this!! Review to come on my blog which you should totally be checking out!

Palatine Library
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween-reviews
I give Emmy in the Key of Code a 4.5 star rating and I liked it because the characters were very clear about their feelings and it had lots of coding in it but it was a very quick read for me and I also liked that the friendships between the kids were like me and my friends. Reviewed by: Lucy, grade 4

Emmy’s move to a new California School introduces her to an exciting new teacher and an exciting nitch in Computer Coding. Encouraged by Abigail, a new friend, Emmy follows in her Dad’s mus
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a perfectly coded middle grade novel. Filled with new and old friendships and Java in verse! Seriously, this book is brilliant.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Moving to a new school is tricky. Emmy has never quite felt like she fit in anyway; the music in her head refuses to come out. But in her new elective she learns a new way to do it, and finds new friends to help her weather life's problems.

I know I tend to be quite emotional, but I challenge anyone to read this sweet story and not tear up a little bit. Emmy is strong and smart, and sadly those things don't always matter. I loved watching the different characters grow in their o
Tasslyn Magnusson
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-in-verse
I love this book so much. I love it as a mom of a middle grade girl - just like Emmy. I also love it as a poet. First - let's talk about middle grade. Emmy is all of that awkward, learning about friends, discovering what she likes and doesn't like, learning to be her true self. Lucido does a magnificant job of showing Emmy as a whole person - and how she works through the challenges of middle school life. I want those kind of books for my daughter (and son, but he's in high school now so "grown ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a lovely book! A must read!
Abby Johnson
Born to super musical parents, Emmy has always longer for musical talent but it evades her. She's not good at any instrument and has paralyzing stage fright. When her family moves to San Francisco so her dad can have a shot at his dream job, Emmy starts at a new school for the first time and she has no idea where she belongs. She has no friends, she has trouble even speaking to any of the kids, and when she's asked what elective she wants on the first day, she turns in a blank sheet of paper and ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emmy and her musician parents move from the Midwest to California. The whole family struggles together to adjust to their new lives. The author sprinkles musical and coding terms and references throughout the story. She does so in a very poetic styling. This very unique story is told from Emmy's perspective and we get to know her thoughts and feelings and join her in her emotional discoveries. She loves music like her parents do, but she begins to realize it’s not her passion. Coding is. And wit ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a short and enjoyable read. It wasn't too deep, didn't talk about things in a sorrow tone but it was hopeful and it was just nice. Even the pace of the entire story was easy to follow and that made my reading experience better overall. I couldn't help but to continue reading until I reached the end. It was the kind of book that you can read in one go.

I love how the main character, Emmy relates to a lot of things in her life with music. It was like a metaphor to everything that hap
sabrina (thereaderdevotee)
This book is such a fast and fun read! I read it just within a day and I cannot stop reading it because the story is captivating! I also love reading books with verses, so it is totally a plus point. Even though books with verses are short, they are enjoyable and meaningful enough to read. This is a book that you can read in one go.

Once I laid my eyes on the synopsis, I totally wanted to pick this up. I love reading and also learning new things. Since this book revolves around rare s
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Special thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. This, however, does not reflect the opinions in my review.

Emmy in the Key of Code is definitely a unique read. I’ve only read a few books that are entirely in verse and this book does an excellent job of blending both poetry and programming into one fun read that young readers interested in computer programming will dive into. There’s a good introduction into Java and the building blocks of coding that reade
Meg Dendler
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book for older elementary or younger YA readers, especially kids who are struggling to embrace who they are and what they love in life. It is written in a free-verse style of poetry, and as Emmy learns to use Java code, those symbols are interspersed in the text. That is part of what makes reading it so delightful, but it could be challenging for younger readers. I know zero about coding, but I thought the use of it within Emmy's thoughts as she develops her skills and unders ...more
Kristin Aker Howell
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emmy in the Key of Code puts the A in STEAM. Emmy is new to her school in San Francisco and joins a coding class. Feeling like she doesn't belong anywhere else, this class becomes her home, mostly because of the teacher. Like Mr. Terupt and Ms. Bixby, Emmy's teacher becomes very ill, and the class comes together around that. Despite that similarity to other current popular novels, the text here is fresh and the poems are incredible. I recommend it to my students because they love to read about c ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, not-graphic, life, poetry
I picked this up as a curiosity--a book about coding written in poetry? How odd; how interesting--and ended up falling in love with it. It's a novel in free verse, with a hefty chunk of the poetry incorporating, even fully becoming, computer Java code. It's also the story of a twelve-year-old girl feeling isolated and alone, hoping to find a place she belongs. Emmy is the daughter of two professional musicians who loves music more than anything, but who lacks the ability to express that love the ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emmy and her parents have just moved to San Francisco from Wisconsin and Emmy could not feel more out of place at her new middle school. Both her parents are musicians, but music has never worked for Emmy the way she wanted it to, and she can't bring herself to chose Orchestra/Choir for her activity period. Instead she is placed in a coding class, and it is there that she begins to find her true passion. This novel in verse has the requisite friend drama and teacher drama required of all middle ...more
Alyssa Black
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read. This. Book.

I laughed and cried and learned and watched a story unfold that, although it is about computer programming, is musical and poetic in a way that highlights the reality that art and science go together like peanut butter and jelly. I don’t know Java, but I do feel like anyone with a passing interest in computer science could learn a lot about it. I did, and a beautiful story about a 6th grade girl trying to fit in at a brand new school in a brand new city is what taught it to me.
Christine Chapman
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emmy in the Key of Code perfectly captures the experience of learning to code from the structure of the curriculum to the role of gender to the subculture of early CS classes. Aimee balances being educational & accurate with offering hope & motivation which is a hard balance to strike for 'girls in tech' content.

I was lucky enough to have an AP CS teacher that, like Ms. Delaney, encouraged us to bring our hobbies and interests to CS instead of seeing them as an exclusive or, but I know
Karen McKenna
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A perfect middle school book! Last year my students were really enamored with the novel-in-verse format so I am on the lookout for books in this format that older students can relate to. I was intrigued with how the author used poetry in this book to blend the drama of starting a new middle school in a new state, the insecurities of this age, the love of music, and the language of coding. I honestly didn't understand all of the coding in the book, but I was drawn in by the poems and feel that ha ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the way the author used poetry to blend music and computer coding. It is an interesting and engaging format that really brings the music of coding alive. The characters are relateable and wonderfully written. It gives great insight into figuring out who you are and how to use your natural strengths as well as follow your interests to find where you best fit in. Not everyone loves their natural talent or is talented in areas they love but this story does a great job of showing that is a no ...more
Kristi Wright
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elegant Dance of Verse, Music, and Code

I was so impressed by this book. It is elegantly constructed with verse that has a lovely musicality and goes deeper and deeper into java syntax as the story progresses. It is a beautiful tale about Emmy who is finding her way in a new school after having moved across the country. The interactions between her and her parents, her potential friends, and her teachers is handling with empathy and love. The spare language shines a light on important
Ashhad Syed
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. Written in verse, made it an easy and fun read. Any child (especially girl) who has ever felt left out will connect with the story and find hope in her current situation. As an added bonus, I loved how the code was an integral part of the story and how easy it was to learn it through the story. There were many instances, I wanted to stop reading and write the programs Emmy wrote in the book.

This is a great book that every young lady should read and learn from.

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