In the Key of Code

Authored by Aimee Lucido .

About the author

Aimee Lucido is the author of  In the Key of Code and the upcoming Recipe for Disaster which will be published in this year. She’s a software engineer who has worked at Google, Facebook, and Uber, and she got her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Hamline University.

About the book

Written in verse, In the Key of Code is a first-person novel, written from the point of a 6th grade (US) student who is starting a new school year in a new school, in a new state. Passionate about music but believing she cannot live up to her parents’ talents and the expectations placed on her that she should have inherited special musical ability, Emmy turns instead to computer programming and discovers a new skill which makes her heart sing. The story is about making friends, finding inspiration and families overcoming difficulties.

Lucido’s verse novel is a triumph, pulling together these threads which are overlayed with an introduction to codes and coding, music and of course poetry. Through reading, the connections between these patterned forms of communication are revealed, conveying the message that young learners should not be pigeon-holed as one type of learner with a narrow range of interest. It is possible to love the arts, to enjoy coding, to be a great writer.  It is possible to have many talents and more importantly perhaps, to follow your dreams and make your own fairy tale come true.

Teacher’s note: there are references throughout this book to popular music. You might want to listen to some tracks or read some of the lyrics. However, you are advised that  Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ seems to be totally lacking in irony. The lyrics and could be used as part of the discussion about gender stereotype that the book invites. This would be best undertaken after reading the novel when gender roles have already been questioned. In our view, the music video is inappropriate for watching in primary school. Tupac’s ‘Hail Mary’ has x rated language.  As usual, ensure you are familiar with lyrics and any videos before directing children to them.