Adventures in Raspberry Pi Paperback – 6 Dec 2013
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all I can say is that the book is blessed with an easy–going, but ultra–clear, style of writing. Carrie Anne Philbin has created a beautiful book that deserves a place on any Pi owners bookshelf. There s only one score I can give to this book: 10/10. (Raspberry Pi Pod, February 2014)
Adventures in Raspberry Pi slowly builds up the difficulty, constantly challenging the newcomer to learn more and improve on their skills and that s what makes it such an excellent book for teachers, kids, parents or just non–technical humans who want to learn a bit. (Linux Voice, April 2014)
Top customer reviews
The book is structured around a series of 'badges' that readers can collect, with badges for mastering visual programming (scratch) and audio programming (sonic PI) as well as more traditional approaches (Python). there is also a badge for mastering Minecraft (an addictive game in itself) in which you learn to control and build minecraft artefacts, such as a magical diamond transporter, by writing code in python. The badges can be downloaded from the Wiley (publisher) website and printed out for children.
As if all this wasn't enough, the book also contains a series of great projects which can teach you how to control the external 'GPIO' interface and make lights flash and motors turn. The Wiley website has a series of videos that can talk you through these in case the book does not have enough detail.
In summary, if you have a child and are interested in the raspberry Pi then buy this book. If you do not have a child available buy the book anyway.
Adventures in Raspberry Pi is a 144 page book written to encourage teenagers into real computing by an experienced teacher, Carrie Anne Philbin.
This book makes wonderful use of lots of graphics and screenshots. It’s very nicely laid out with plenty of colour and white space. The pages are all visually interesting and the text clearly explains things in a friendly manner.
But more than that. By being easy to follow and fun to read, the learning will sneak up on you. By breaking everything up into logical bites and taking them one at a time, fundamental programming techniques and terminology are being introduced, almost by stealth. You can see Carrie Anne’s classroom experience in this approach.
Playful, But Not Dumbed Down
By making it playful, rather than tedious, children are given the chance to find out that learning their way around Linux and programming can be rather good fun, limited only by their imagination.
At the same time, it doesn’t hide or protect the reader from the fact that instructions have to be correctly followed if they are to work. (A very important lesson in itself.)
Complete Introduction For Teens
The book is a complete introductory package for teens who are new to the Raspberry Pi. It leads you all the way from connecting the Pi together and flashing an SD card, and finishes with a hardware project – a rather cool MP3 jukebox. On the way it takes in…
Connecting up the Pi
Putting NOOBS on an SD card
Programming in Scratch, including creating a graphical adventure game
Python fundamentals, by way of a text-based adventure game
Using Minecraft Pi Edition to create things with Python
Making computer music with Sonic Pi
Controlling LEDs and using buttons and marshmallows as inputs to control a game
MP3 Jukebox with LCD screen and button controls
The Bad Bits?
Nothing much to moan about, really. Impressively few typos.
I’d say the base font is smaller than my 44-year-old eyes would like, but it’s aimed at young people, so that’s probably not much of an issue for the target audience. And I did manage to read it OK, I just prefer font sizes to be at least 12 points. Other Wiley books are the same.
I’ve been teasing Carrie Anne on Twitter about “marking your homework”, since before publication. Finally, the results are in…
It’s got to be an A*, without a doubt.
It’s a wonderful book. It’s educational and fun, which beautifully sums up the essence of Raspberry Pi.
The approach of the book is to introduce fun mini-projects or activities while teaching proper computing concepts and principles along the way. Doing this allows children to learn in an engaging and fun way. Most chapters are relatively independent, which offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how children approach the book. The target age range is 11-15 year olds, and the full color illustrations throughout the book are fun but not too childish to alienate kids at the upper end of this. Carrie Anne uses non-threatening, easy to understand language throughout, yet manages to avoid talking down to her audience. Importantly, she manages to introduce and start to explain an impressive number of computing concepts throughout the book
Carrie Anne has done an excellent job of selecting fun and exciting projects. The book starts with activities using Scratch, leading to Python, some activities using GPIO, and culminating in a larger activity to create an MP3 Jukebox using the Pi. It's certainly far from a regurgitation of information available elsewhere. The book leads the reader through the core part of each project, but almost every project is open-ended enough that an interested reader can use what they've learnt to expand it far beyond what is described. Anybody who has tried to plan kids programming activities themselves will recognise how much work it can be to come up with interesting projects and the documentation to go with them, and what a valuable contribution this is. The structure of the book means that no one subject is covered in extreme depth, but Carrie Anne provides plenty of pointers after each project for where to go to learn more if you're interested in continuing your studies.
In conclusion, I'd highly recommend this book to any young person with an interest in the Raspberry Pi or a parent looking to introduce the Pi to their child.
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