With summer coming (and now here) I wanted something to keep the boy’s brains working. Knowing it will take a lot to keep them from video games, the pool, and general tomfoolery I wanted to get them each a programming book that would engross them and keep them going well into the summer.
With Noah (having just finished 5th grade and a huge fan of Minecraft) the decision was easy. My favorite technical book publisher, the Pragmatic Bookshelf, had recently put out a book that teaches Java programming with a focus on Minecraft. I bought him, “Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java“. I knew he would love it and figured I’d enjoy reading it too.
Deciding what to buy Zach was a tougher decision. Zach just finished 3rd grade and is much different than Noah. He’s not really into video games. He’s an unique / strange / awesome combination of bookworm and athlete. He absolutely loves reading and sports. Considering how much he likes reading, I wanted to get him something that would really be fun to read, and didn’t have to be read in front of a computer.
I decided on something from my second favorite tech book publisher, the people behind the Head First series. Their books do an amazing job of teaching all kinds of highly technical subjects (e.g., Java, C#, Physics, etc.). I got Zach a new edition of a book I read probably 10 years ago, Head First HTML and CSS.
So now having had their books for a couple days, Zach keeps showing me “websites” he’s built and Noah is becoming a cmd-line guru and learning Java. I’m proud of these boys and can’t wait to see what they’ve done by the end of the summer.