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For Immediate Release
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Anna Morrow
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The Official ScratchJr Book
New book from the creators of ScratchJr makes
programming fun for kids ages 5-7

The Official ScratchJr Book

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San Francisco, CA (November 6, 2015)—It may seem hard to believe but even 5-year-olds can learn to program—even before they learn to read and write—and many want to. Fortunately, No Starch Press, publisher of the best-selling introductory programming books for kids, has teamed up with the creators of ScratchJr to release a new book designed to make that promise a reality—The Official ScratchJr Book (No Starch Press, $19.95, 160pp., Nov. 2015).

Scratch, the older sibling of ScratchJr, is the de facto standard for introducing kids to programming, with more than 8 million users registered on their website. Designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a block-based programming language—kids connect blocks of code to program interactive stories, games, and animations. The process is fun and makes programming immediately accessible to any beginner.

But Scratch wasn’t designed for the youngest of kids, and that’s where ScratchJr comes in. The result of a partnership between MIT and Tufts University, ScratchJr is a simplified version of Scratch aimed at introducing computer science concepts to pre-readers. Released in July of last year, ScratchJr is available as a free mobile app for any Apple or Android tablet and already has 1 million users.

The Official ScratchJr Book extends the ScratchJr app with hands-on coding activities and patient step-by-step instructions that make it easy for anyone (even those with no programming experience) to teach young brainiacs to program. Each activity in the book includes core math and literacy concepts, tips for grown-ups, and suggestions for creative challenges to take the learning further.

According to ScratchJr co-creator Marina Umaschi Bers (director of the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University), “Children aren’t just learning to code with The Official ScratchJr Book; they are coding to learn." Co-creator Mitchel Resnick (head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT) adds, “The projects you can make with ScratchJr are limited only by imagination. If a child can dream it, she can program it.”

The Official ScratchJr Book is now available online and in fine bookstores everywhere.

Authors Marina Umaschi Bers and Mitchel Resnick are available for radio, TV, or print interviews upon request.


About the Authors

Marina Umaschi Bers is a professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. Bers heads the Developmental Technologies Research Group where she studies innovative ways to promote positive childhood development through new learning technologies. She is also the creator of KIBO, a robotics platform for children ages 4-7, which allows young builders to learn programming and engineering skills without screens.

Mitchel Resnick is the creator of Scratch, the wildly popular programming language used in thousands of schools and homes worldwide, with nearly 4 million users. Resnick directs the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab and was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011 for his creative learning technologies.

The Official ScratchJr Book The Official ScratchJr Book
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Marina Umaschi Bers and Mitchel Resnick
ISBN: 9781593276713 (print)
Price: $19.95
Publication Date: November 2015
Specs: 160 pp., 4C
[email protected]

Request Review copy

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Available in fine bookstores everywhere, from, or directly from No Starch Press:, [email protected], 1-800-420-7240.

About No Starch Press
For more than 20 years, No Starch Press has been committed to releasing titles that expand digital literacy. This latest publication follows in the tradition of other celebrated No Starch Press kids programming titles like Teach Your Kids to Code, Python for Kids, and Super Scratch Programming Adventure!.

About O'Reilly
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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