Lucy Lopez: Coding Star

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Bks. (After-School Superstars: Bk. 3). Oct. 2020. 128p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823446285; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780823449217.
Gr 2-5– Third-grader Lucy will warm readers’ hearts from the first chapter. Lucy desperately wants to be part of her older sister Elena’s life. Elena used to be interested in the same things as Lucy—but now that Elena is in fifth grade, she is more interested in new friends and new things like coding than playing with Lucy. If Lucy wants to keep earning badges for the sisters’ “Let’s Have Fun Club,” she will have to find another way to break through to Elena. But what if Lucy’s contentious sister is right, and coding just isn’t her thing? The sisters experience growing pains and search for their individual identities while preserving their sisterly love. The theme of sibling rivalry is intertwined with themes of trying new things and perseverance. Mills uses a thoughtful narrative style with rigorous vocabulary added, which makes it perfect for young readers. Illustrations are scattered throughout, which support the text and make learning readers feel confident. The chapters are appropriate in length for those transitioning to longer novels without illustrations. Coding is a relevant topic for children today, but this book will be loved by coders and non-coders alike.
VERDICT A relevant STEM tale that touches on growth and family, this book is perfect for young readers who have advanced past beginning chapter books, but are not quite ready for middle grade novels.

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