Beginner Computer Science Books for children under 12

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There’s no doubt that tech has officially permeated every one of our lives. The question is no longer should I allow my children to use tech, but when should I allow them.

Beginner computer science books are the perfect way to introduce tech into your little ones life before they get their first Nintendo Switch and the tech floodgates open.

That's why we like to introduce the basic concepts from a young age, to get them interested in why everything is happening, as opposed to venturing into the digital realm simply for the awe it inspires and inherent addictiveness.

There are many beginner computer science books available for kids, but here we highlight the best of the best.

Best Computer Science Books for children

1) Computer Engineering for Babies by Chase Roberts

At their root, computers are incredibly basic. They see the world in binary (0s and 1s). Is there an electric signal coming through or not?

A computer engineer's job is to make these series of 0s and 1s easy to translate into the visual cause/effect you see on your screen today.

If I don’t press a computer key, nothing happens. If I press “k””e” AND ”y” on my keyboard, you see the word key in this blog post. If I press “k””e””y” OR “h””i” on my keyboard, you see the word key or hi in this blog post.

Infant brains work similarly; if I laugh AND wave my hands, my parents instantly grab their iPhone and snap a pic. If I cry OR scream, my parents bring me my binky.

If you’re a parent, you know very well that children start to recognize and make use of these cues. So while they may not understand exactly why their cause creates an effect, they know it does. That’s how Computer Engineering for Babies works. They may not know why their action turned a light on, but they start to recognize that they are the reason it turns on.

2) Computer Coding for Kids by Carol Vorderman

Computer Coding for Kids

Ideal for kids 8-12, this one gently introduces your kiddos to the world of computer coding . From the basics, like Scratch, all the way to HTML and CSS. You’ll have a harder time telling them to put it down than to open it up once they get to the section where the book walks them through creating their own websites and games.

3) Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding by Linda Liukas

Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding

With its storybook style, this one's ideal for a slightly younger audience, 4-8 we’d have to say. Using colorful illustrations and engaging storytelling, Hello Ruby introduces loops, conditionals, and algorithms in a super engaging way. Best for inspiring a love for coding in your kiddo, or for laying the foundations for the already creative kids.

Bonus: Hello Ruby is a series. Hello Ruby 2 takes the kids on a journey through a computer, while Hello Ruby 3 explores the world of the internet.

4) Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock

Coding Games in Scratch

Learning may not be the thing kids want to do most, but making their own Minecraft…that’ll sound pretty cool to them. They won’t be creating an actual Minecraft game, but once they get started and see the multiplayer platform games, puzzles, maze, and race games they’ve created, not created a block head won’t be too big of an issue.

5) Getting Started with Coding by Camille McCue

Getting Started with Coding

For kids 7+, this one balances coding theory alongside practical application. It combines theory and practical uses by walking your kids through coding exercises and projects they’d want to create. We’d also recommend this one as a resource for teachers looking to up their classroom bookshelf.

There you have it, our top beginner computer science books.

Beginner Computer Science Books 

The key to getting your kids into computer science and computer engineering is to make the process fun and engaging. We really think these books do a great job at doing that.

And if you’re secretly preparing your kids to become the next Shigeru Miyamoto, these books will help you in that pursuit.

Plus, they all make for excellent bookshelf/table topper pieces, especially Computer Engineering for Babies ;)

Did we miss any must-haves? Contact us and let us know!