If you’re here for the oft-debated rules of moral absolutions and ethics that come with being in a girl group of friends… that’s not quite the girl code that I’m speaking about. Instead, I’m putting the spotlight on the women who code. I have to remind myself frequently that for my students to have “coding” as a specialist subject, visited as often as Music and PE, is pretty freaking cool. Their teacher is this maker-space marvel of a woman who is constantly thinking about how to take ideas out of the ‘think’ and into the ‘create.’ Not to mention my students look up to her, respect her, and delight in her subject matter. I’m grateful that my young learners see a woman excelling in STEM as their societal norm, given that women are still widely underrepresented in the field of technology and science. Though to that end, coding doesn’t need to exist as something solely “tech-y” or “scienc-y.” What makes the following four books stand out is that the female protagonists use coding as a way to interpret meaning and bridge connection in their everyday encounters.
Rox’s Secret Code by Mara Lecoq and Nathan Archambault is a picture book adventure about a girl who thinks she’s got cleaning her room all figured out. But what will she do when the creation… ahem… overextends its duties? The Click’d series by Tamara Ireland Stone is about a girl who puts the fate of her school’s social fervor on her own shoulders by developing an app that accidentally reveals insight about her friends, her crush, and herself. Slay by Britney Morris has every line of the proverbial YA book “code” – identity, secrets, and even Internet trolls! Finally, if you ask me, Sadie Green is the most interesting (and sometimes most frustrating) part of Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, struggling with feelings of inadequacy both in her personal and professional milestones.