I found this book, and the PASCAL language, quite exciting! I had previously tried to teach myself BASIC and got bogged down with it. PASCAL is much easier: more logical, more like the English language, and even - dare I say it - fun to use. Anything you want to do in a program, there is a PASCAL command for it. All in all, simple. I found that this book worked in lieu of a teacher as both a step-by-step guide, and also as a reference book to dip into again and again once I had mastered the basics. The index is comprehensive; quizzes throughout let you know how you're getting on, and 6 appendices (e.g. ASCII codes, reserved words etc.) provide a handy reference. Judy Bishop uses a matter-of-fact, clear tone throughout, which is easy to follow. Since learning to program in PASCAL, I have gone on to learn other languages and I found that the PASCAL grounding I had gained with this book stood me in excellent stead in understanding in general how programming languages work. My 8-year-old also taught himself PASCAL to a medium level with the help of this book and my practice disk, and with no additional help from me.