Kids who want to learn to code have more options than ever to get started. Whatever they’re interested in, there is an abundance of websites, apps, games, and coding books for kids to get them up and running quickly.

There are so many things they can do when kids learn how to code. They can build video games, create animations, develop mobile apps, and launch websites.

If your child learns best through reading and writing, a book may be the first place you start. Coding books for kids are not one size fits all. Below, you’ll learn how to spot a good coding book and how to differentiate between the multitude of current programming languages. Then, you can pick the right book for your child’s experience level and interest.

Find the best programming books for kids here!

Coding Book for Kids

What Makes An Excellent Programming Book for Kids

Best Computer Coding Books for Kids by Language

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Game Development Books for Kids

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Best Programming Books for Kids by Age Group

What Makes An Excellent Programming Book for Kids

Whether you’re browsing for a child who has never written a line of code before or looking for material to boost the skills of an accomplished young programmer, recognizing a good coding book is simple.

Covers the Basics

All programming languages have a few things in common, things that are important for kids to learn early if they are to be successful coders. When flipping through coding books for beginners, take note of whether they cover:

You don’t need to understand how these concepts work. Just make sure they’re covered in any title you consider for a beginning programmer. They should be among the first items discussed. If they’re not present, the book isn’t appropriate for novices.

Recommended: Free & Paid Coding Websites for Kids

Focuses on One Coding Language

With the exception of general computer science and programming publications, a good coding book for kids covers just one language.

You won’t find many books about more than one language, so, if you don’t know which one your child should learn, consider getting books about two or three different languages.

Has Plenty of Photos and Illustrations

It’s also important for a book to be visually appealing, especially for kids who are learning to code for the first time. Many of the best coding books for kids have colorful illustrations on every page, which keep kids focused and interested.

Provides Useful, Transferable Knowledge

Learning a specific language isn’t as important as gaining an understanding of fundamental coding concepts. Beginning coders can start with almost any language and move into others with minimal difficulty. There are a few languages that might be inappropriate for kids, such as C and C++, because even many adult learners struggle with learning these.

Recommended: Coding Games for Kids

Best Computer Coding Books for Kids by Language

Scratch Books for Kids

Scratch is a popular block programming language designed for kids. It’s easy to learn and introduces children to coding in an easy-to-understand format. After exploring Scratch thoroughly, many kids will be ready to progress to text-based languages like Python.

Coding with Scratch Workbook

DK Workbooks Coding with Scratch Workbook

Age Range: 10+

Best Because: Highly visual workbook that illustrates tasks step by step in Scratch. Reads more like a picture book than a textbook, but teaches conditionals, math equations, and basic programming skills. Kids can create games that they share and test their knowledge with quizzes for each section. It’s easy to follow and kids can use these projects to inspire their own ideas too.

Get it here.

Learn to Program with Scratch

Coding Books for Kids, Learn with Scratch

Age Range: 10+

Best Because: This nearly 300-page book covers everything a beginning coder needs to know about the Scratch language. It begins by directing kids to the Scratch website, and they’ll be coding before they’ve read more than two pages from the first chapter. Readers learn about variables, conditionals, lists, and all the other key components of coding. After finishing this book, kids will have a solid grasp of Scratch and programming fundamentals that will apply to almost any language.

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Scratch for Kids, for Dummies

Coding Books for Kids, Scratch For Dummies

Age Range: 10-14

Best Because: To establish a solid foundation in Scratch and general programming knowledge, Scratch for Kids teaches readers how to design and animate their own characters. They’ll learn about variables, if/then statements, loops, and basic programming logic while building 16 projects.

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The Official ScratchJr Book: Help Your Kids Learn to Code

Coding Books for Kids, Official Scratch Jr

Age Range: 5-9

Best Because: For kids who are still a bit too young to learn Scratch, there’s ScratchJr, an even-simpler block programming language. This short guide gets kids acquainted with ScratchJr, walks them through several fun projects, and establishes a firm grasp of programming they’ll use in all their future programming endeavors.

Get it here.

The Official ScratchJr Book: Help Your Kids Learn to Code

Super Scratch Programming Adventure! book

Age Range: 7+

Best Because: This book complements the Scratch coding app, guiding kids through programming principles and experiments. Kids will enjoy the book since it employs a comic-book style and includes projects inspired by classic arcade games.

Get it here.

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Python Books for Kids

Nothing beats Python when it comes to easy text-based programming languages for beginners. It’s also powerful and works for all kinds of software, including applications for the web. We often recommend Python for kids and they’re usually excited to hear that the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube, runs on Python.

Python for Kids

Coding Books for Kids, Python for Kids

Age Range: 10+

Best Because: Few books about Python, or any programming language, are as thorough yet easy to follow as Python for Kids. The material in this book is suitable for elementary school kids, but it’s detailed enough even for many adult learners. The first chapters cover downloading and installing Python. From there, the book describes the Python programming environment, which is simply the interface used to write code. It then shows readers how to save their programs and covers an enormous amount of important coding knowledge.

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Coding Projects in Python

Coding Books for Kids, Coding Projects in Python

Age Range: 9-12

Best Because: Whether they’ve learned a block language such as Scratch or haven’t done any programming at all, kids will find everything they need to build software in this slick volume. The first chapter covers downloading and installing Python and writing and saving programs. The glossary and reference sections in the back of this book are helpful and should be useful to kids even after they’ve finished the book and want to build new projects.

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Python in Easy Steps

Coding Books for Kids, Python in easy steps

Age Range: 11+

Best Because: Mike McGrath, the author of Python in Easy Steps, has written several programming books for the In Easy Steps series and does a fantastic job of presenting coding concepts in small, digestible chunks. This book isn’t specifically for kids, but it’s so well organized that middle schoolers, especially those with some experience in Scratch or another language, can easily understand it.

By the end of this book, readers will be able to build simple web pages and write desktop applications in Python.

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Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners

Coding Books for Kids, Hello World

Age Range: 12+

Best Because: When learning to code, the first program most people write in any language simply displays the words “Hello World” on the screen. Scores of coding books for kids and adults start out with this straightforward script. It’s easy to write and familiarizes new programmers with some of the most basic features of a language. This book follows that tradition and quickly moves into the requisite skills coders need to build useful software of any kind.

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Java Coding Books for Kids

Java is an immensely popular langu