This is such a cool book for kids!
An indie author recently created a children’s book teaching young Black children about coding.
The Adventures of Charlie & Baxter is a new book from author Sarah J. Aris. The book follows the children as they problem solve using coding via a time-traveling robot. In book 1, the kids travel back to the 19th century to help a friend escape, hoping to get home before their parents realize they’re gone.
Aris first began coming up with the concept for the book years ago after researching the lack of diversity in tech. She learned that new technology can help reinforce discriminatory notions and widen social inequities in society. Back then, she was working as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, and had a front row seat to how impacted children were by new ideas. That’s when she learned how to code and began developing a language for the series.
“Representation and exposure matter. I think it is important for Black children to continue to learn about our rich history and our resilience as a people, which is why the characters go back in time. And we also need to continue exposing them to exciting things like coding, robots, and inform them that they can be a part of building them too,” Aris told Because Of Them We Can.
The book is geared towards children 7-10 years old, aimed at exposing them to the STEM field at an early age. Not only do children benefit from the lessons in coding, but also in the plots, which discuss 21st century skills like problem-solving, courage, and teamwork.
The Miami native hopes children will benefit from this book and has built an accompanying website that offers free coding resources for teachers and parents. She has plans to release more books as a part of the series and eventually create more pipelines for Black children to access STEM.
“I hope readers get to see themselves affecting positive change...I also hope the book inspires more Black kids to pursue careers in STEM and create a future where diversity in tech is the norm. I plan to continue writing books within this series to encourage and expose Black children to the endless opportunities in STEM. I also hope to partner with non-profit organizations to help get more Black kids access to STEM courses,” said Aris.
To purchase your copy of The Adventures of Charlie & Baxter and learn more about Aris’ work, visit www.charlieandbaxteradventures.com.
Illustration Courtesy of Stephanie Nieves/Semicolon Publishers