Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're diving between the pages of a new Middle Grade Fiction title from an author whose work I adored in the YA Fiction arena. Curious to see how this venture panned out? Read on, my friends, read on... The title on deck today, celebrates the world of coding from a new angle. When you use to think about computer programming and app creation, admit it...it conjured an image of some sketchy dude whittling away the hours in a dark geek cave with no human interaction except that of the e-people he interacted with.
I know, TOTAL cliche, and a misrepresentation that the industry has tried to and for the most part successfully shed. THANK HEAVENS, right? Why? Because it opens up that world of digital wonders and gurus to Johnny AND Jane Q. Public, and shows us as well as wee ones just stretching their typing fingers that there is room for ONE AND ALL in these technology driven fields. Enough of my soap box, let's get to the post! Ladies and gents, please welcome today's book of choice...
Tamara Ireland Stone
About the book...
Seventh-grader Allie is thrilled that the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp has gone viral. The app, Click’d, pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. Now, she even has a shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at an upcoming coding competition. But when a glitch threatens to expose everyone's secrets, Allie has to fix the app, win back her friends, and even work with Nathan. Can Allie find the problem in her code before she steps on stage to present Click’d to the judges? CLICK'D is a fun and empowering story of friendships, coding, and lots of popcorn.
This is the story of a summer project turned competition entry that took on a life of its own, but along the bumpy road it created, sprung opportunities for unexpected life lessons that'll stay with readers long after the last page turn.
Allie and the CodeGirls were a team. They had each other's backs while working in the "fishbowl" and once the glass was shattered (okay, not really shattered...they opened the door and left the room, but you get my drift). Near and far, the bonds they formed remained strong...and easily accessible thanks to a new app aptly named Click'd. The concept behind it...make it easier to "click" with new people, forming friendships based on similar likes and interests without all the awkwardness that usually surrounds new introductions. Sounds fab, right? Her "real life" friends thought so too...and apparently the rest of her Middle School once a small in class demonstration goes viral. Though in awe of her seemingly instant success and apparent shoe-in status to win the Games 4 Good competition...sometimes what was begun with the best of intentions can turn into an ever loving nightmare. Grant it, it's correctable...if only she can figure out where things went wrong?! But riddle me this, what happens when the price to pay in order to do the right thing seems to high? Can Allie turn away from instant stardom to own her error, and correct her digital masterpiece before it becomes a beast?
I loved the balance the author struck between the technical and real life in this story. Allie and her besties (even her crush...I mean, nemesis) easily become YOUR besties, her new friends your friends, and her worries...your worries. I felt SO BAD for her when things started to turn sour. If I could have stepped in and helped, I totally would have (though my own coding skills are pretty basic, if existent at all) just to see her fly her CodeGirls flag high with pride once again. The thing is...that's what happens in REAL LIFE though. We may start out with an idea, turn it into a reality, and quite possibly fall flat on our faces...but what really makes a person remarkable, isn't the success or failure ratio, but the fact that they GOT UP ONCE AGAIN. It's the endurance, the willingness to try try again until you get it right that truly makes a person "special". No one can make it through life without making at least a few mistakes and some of them are spectacular in an of themselves, but what we learn from them and how we carry on is what will really tell of our characters...just as it does Allie AND her friends.
In the end, it's a story that celebrates the "geek" in all of us, girls and boys alike, and reminds us that we are capable of ANYTHING, if only we put our minds to it, and do it. Oh, and yeah...there's no shame in seeking help along the way! Collective experience can make a WORLD of difference when trying to tackle the seemingly impossible. A great add to your Middle Grade Fiction lists with an extra boost for promoting STEM education for girls!
About the author...
TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time and Time Again, a collection of her two novels Time Between Us and Time After Time, and the New York Times best seller Every Last Word. A Silicon Valley-native, she has worked in the technology industry all her life, first testing Atari game boards in her parents’ garage, and later, co-founding a woman-owned marketing strategy firm where she worked with some of the world's largest software companies. She enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her online at...
Special thanks to Cassie at Disney Publishing for the ARC for review as well as the chance to bring this title to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, her other works, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is set to hit bookstore shelves TOMORROW (09/05/17) via Disney Hyperion, so mark your calendar and be on the lookout for it at your favorite brick and mortar or online retailers.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!