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on 1 June 2017
I enjoyed the first book in this series from Roffey, so I was hoping for something good here. Sadly - no. It comes across as rushed, unimaginative, and extremely clunky as a result of the text being stuffed with larger and larger parentheses. The book nearly ended up in the bin, but I persisted and was feebly rewarded.

The book could almost have been called 'Python: Next Step', as opposed to 'Steps', since much of the book is occupied with the writing of a single program - that of a calculator.

This is a problem on three counts:
1) It is immensely irritating to a non-genius to have to think over strictly mathematical functions at the same time as trying to learn how to code. Could a simpler and more everyday example have not been dreamed up other than a scientific calculator? Literally anything would have been an improvement: animals in a zoo, a restaurant menu, sports stats - absolutely ANYTHING would have been preferable over messing about with factors, binary values and - oh, why not Roman numerals and the speed of light while we are at it (true story) - while simultaneously trying to puzzle out Python's tuples, definitions, etc.

2) This big calculator code ends up becoming unwieldy for a beginner. I'm sure coders with even a little experience can quickly leap around code, but this purports to be a book for youngsters, and it gets annoying having constantly to fuss about scrolling through the ever-expanding code. Would it have hurt to have provided a sequence of separate, simple examples that could all be kept on a single screen? You know, just until the reader catches up with Bill Gates?

3) With changes being made by the Python committee to the language from time to time, books like these become increasingly redundant, since commands will not work, and crowning glories like (yawn!) scientific calculator programs become increasingly unworkable. There is, of course, a disclaimer in the rear that the publisher has no responsibility for the changing of the Python language. Well, yes - but that is just not good enough. It ought to be taken as a given that the language will change, and that steps ought to be taken by the author actively to work around this obvious fact, by splitting up the book into numerous separate examples, so that if one bit ends up not working, there is a chance that other bits will still work. A beginner cannot be expected to go searching for language updates. Lazy.

Roffey mentions in the Acknowledgements that this book was one of three produced in a single year. And boy, does it show.
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on 11 July 2017
Great series of books. A book may make references to previous books in the series and so good idea to try to buy the series. This will also allow for good progression and understanding of Python. Contains useful examples which readers\students will find engaging.
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on 4 March 2017
Brilliant introduction to this language
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on 11 May 2017
easy to understand and quick delivery
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on 1 July 2013
Nice simple development of the first book, which I'm using with my nine-year-old. Simple and clear - and something she can do on her own too!
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on 18 November 2013
I bought this as a set of 3 (levels 1, 2 & 3) on the recommendation of a colleague. These are a fantastic set of little books, beautifully illustrated and full of really useful and clear information. One of my better purchasing decisions!
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on 15 June 2013
The style is the same as Python Basics but it is definitely more challenging and a bit longer than the first book but it is a level 2 book after all. But a firm foundation was laid with Python Basics so it is very accessible as a next step. The children found it challenging but were very pleased with themselves upon completing the programming of the parts of their calculators. The "Delving Deeper" sections makes for good extension material.
As an ICT teacher, it is most gratifying to see that these books explain the "whys" as well as the "hows" of coding without ever becoming boring.
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on 1 December 2013
My son has worked through book 1 and book 2, we've just ordered book 3 :-D the text is clear, consise and fun, and best of all relevant. It's really helped my 12 yo son to learn to code python on his raspberry pi, although you can also install a windows python compiler if you don't have a pi.
Well done to the author for making such a great series that our kids love ;-)
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on 8 April 2014
Clear steps to follow and learn.

Lots of ideas and examples to try out. Code is explained well with extra advice.
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on 11 July 2013
Having raced through and enjoyed the basics my daughter has now started to really build on what she has learnt so far. Simple clear explanations which fully explain what is happening.
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