Gene Luen Yang, recently named a fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, which is sometimes known as a “genius” grant, was profiled in the “New York Times Magazine” section on Sunday, November 20. Interest in comic books since he was a kid led him to a career as a graphic novelist. He also is a high school computer programming teacher. He was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for his graphic novel “American Born Chinese.” Currently, he is the author of “New Super-Man,” a series about a Chinese teenager who becomes a costumed hero.
In addition to these projects, Mr. Yang is the author of a new series for gamers and coders. In 2015, the first title in the series, “Secret Coders,” was published. The setting is Stately Academy, a school where mysteries abound. Hopper and her new friend Eni realize they can solve the school’s secrets by using simple programming language. Yang uses his book to infuse coding lessons into the plot. The second book in the series, “Paths & Portal,” published in 2016, deals with Hopper and Eni trying to program a robot. Each time the students write a new program, Yang breaks down the steps visually.
Gamers and Coders grades 3-6 will enjoy match their skills with the students of Stately Academy.