Codecrafter: Erica Sandbothe
Becoming a sorcerer is one young girl’s primary goal. Entering Tilde where she would take up residence for ten years was supposed to enrich her, help her become a Codecrafter and learn to forge her own magic spells. But, nothing seems to be the way she thought it would be for Tagg our newbie student. As the Lordsdaughter she is often ridiculed, harassed and made to feel unwanted since her father as been deemed a traitor and there are many who are out to not only get him but possibly kill her too. Coming to Tilde she would meet many sorcerers who would provide lessons that would be invaluable to becoming a Codecrafter and keeping her safe. Induction seems interesting as she learned to understand the reasoning behind why dominoes fall and the Pigeon Hole Theory. Learning from the start that she was basically on her own even though she had someone who was supposed to be protecting her, Tagg enter a world of programming, computer science filled with math, spells, technology and reasoning. Imagine even being exposed to Engineering and Math (STEM). Learning how to write her first spell, giving to what the author relates as a Lang-monster who either spits out what you are trying to create or creates a huge mess if you write the wrong code, Tagg feels challenged from the beginning. Finding a small box in front of her door proved dangerous. The end result if her protector did not realize it would have been fatal. Another incident with a key that has no rightful owner that anyone can trace lets Tagg know that she has to be on her guard at all times. Infinite loops, students that are anything but kind or friendly, lang-monsters and a queen named Floria who wants to dethrone her father, Codecrafter is an action packed short novel by a create and talented author named Erica Sandbothe. Girls are the prime focus for this book as Tagg sets the stage for others to enter the world of computer software, spells and learn how magic is literally programmed and prove that one young girl can use her mind, knowledge and skills to beat whomever is trying to destroy her.
Computers have so much to offer and the author takes young teens into the world of magic, spells, reasoning skills and much more to use math, reading and science to explore new worlds. But, Tagg is smart, learns fast and sometimes takes matters into her own hands when she decides to steal the directory of permissions to find out just who tried to kill her. But, when she deletes certain information, replaces the equations what happens sends Tilde into such chaos you have to read it to see what one young girl can do. But, sometimes we go too far and when she realizes that she might have jeopardized Rushingfoam from presenting his thesis because his lang-monster ran away and the information needed went with him, Tagg confesses and sets off a chain of events that will put her in grave danger. Running away from Rushingfoam, escaping Tilde Tagg finds herself in the hands of some soldier’s whose goal is to either rid the world of Tagg or present her to bring her to Floria. Tied and bound she could do nothing to free herself. Finding herself surrounded by partishes, eight to be exact would prevent her from leaving the circle that they created in order to keep her captive. Thinking over many days she finally realized that she had learned something from Rushingfoam that might help set her free. Just how she does this will bring reader’s back to the concept of the Pigeonhole Theory but does it work and is she set free you won’t know unless you read this for yourself. Computer science is amazing and Tagg uses her knowledge of formulas to try and free herself, redeem what she has caused Rushingfoam and hopefully be allowed to stay at Tilde to become a full fledged sorcerer.
In the words of the author herself from an interview:
Codecrafter is the culmination of my exploration of this idea, a fantasy book for children ages 10 and up where the spells are software and magic is programmed. Sorcerers are computer scientists, but more importantly, they are craftsmen and -women. By placing the coding at a more accessible level — every child dreams of a world where they can make magic — Codecrafter takes what might be abstract and threatening and places it in a familiar context.”
Enter Tilde and meet the lang-monsters, watch them eat the instructions that the sorcerers write and see how their spells are returned. But make sure you have a huge bucket and some sponges if you happen to mess up or write the code the wrong way. Tagg learns how to use the information she is taught to make things happen. When she casts her first spell and it works you will get up and applaud and wish that you could make the same words come out of your staff. This book teaches young children and teens what happens when you work hard, take pride in your tasks and completing them, do not expect special treatment, always asking questions to find out why despite the fact that her father wanted her to always accept what is and what she was told, Tagg is a definite positive role model. Critical thinking is an important skill that all children need to learn not only in reading but in math and other areas too. During each lesson she is encouraged to ask how what she is learning can be applied to other things and how it will help her in the future. Why? Is a vital question that we all must ask in order to learn more. What can I do with this information and where will it lead me? This book is quite interesting and I do hope the author will continue with Tagg’s story and her journey to becoming a true sorcerer with the help of her sponsor and protector Melga and the support she hopes of her father Dread Lord Morthigern. Hopefully more young girls will aspire to be like Tagg, want to learn more about computer programming and hopefully it will open new doors for them.
Programmers know to write code that works but how many know how to “craft great code- that is code that is easily understood. The purpose of this short novella is to encourage young people to explore the world of code craft, which teaches programmers how to write great code.
Meet Tagg the sorcerers and all of the lang-monsters living in Tilde and join her on her journey. This is a definite must read for all kids.
Fran Lewis : Reviewer