I have been teaching Scratch Programming and introducing Raspberry Pi Projects to kids across Mumbai and this book is of interest to me.
The book is compact, around 100 pages long and I believe aims to introduce kids to programming via the Raspberry Pi.
The chapters are as follows :
- Setting up your Pi: This chapter is essential so that you get introduced to the Pi and also make sure that all is well with setting it up.
- Introduction to Scratch : This chapter is a nice introduction to Scratch. And I particularly loved the example project “Making Your Own Angry Birds Game” , which most kids will relate to (I mean even us Adults !)
- Testing Your Speed : I thought this chapter was the best. It combined the Raspberry Pi with a little project to build your own Hardware controller out of the most simple pieces of stationery and wire. The hardware controller was then used to write a game in Python, the code working with the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. If the kids get this chapter, I think they will have a riot of ideas and will be able to adapt this application to several other scenarios from daily lives.
- Google Maps : The last chapter was an introduction to writing a program that integrates with Google Maps for your local area.
To use the projects in the book, it is important that you do have a Raspberry Pi with you, setup with an internet connection. I do not believe that the kids need to have a programming background to pick up stuff, though some of the Python code does require an experienced programmer to explain things to them. In my opinion, the ideal age for kids in this book is around the 10-14 age group.
Overall, this is a great book to introduce kids to Raspberry Pi and software/programming languages like Scratch and Python. I believe by mixing both hardware, graphical programming language and a text based programming language, it provides a flavor for everything to the budding programmer of tomorrow and is bound to help kids start thinking in multiple directions.