In the Key of Code

Author(s): Aimee Lucido

Middle Fiction (Reading Age 10-13 years)

An original, inventive and heart-warming novel from an exciting debut author about a lonely new girl and an unlikely friendship formed in a school code club that will appeal to fans of Sarah Crossan.


When twelve-year-old Emmy's musical family moves to California so her dad can take a job with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Emmy has never felt more out of tune. But when she ends up in a school computer science club, she finds that she can understand code through a language she is familiar with: music. Slowly, Emmy makes friends with Abigail and the two girls start to discover their voices through the programming language of Java.


Extraordinarily crafted, the novel begins to incorporate Java's syntax and concepts as Emmy, and ultimately the reader, learns to think in code. By the end, Emmy doesn't feel like a wrong note, but like a musician in the world's most beautiful symphony.

$16.99(AUD)


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The lessons you learn about coding alongside Emmy are interesting and the ending is both touching and hopeful. * The School Librarian *

This inspirational story, unusually written in blank verse, flows so well it is hard to put it down and can aid readers who are struggling. * The Week Junior, Christmas Bookstore *

An original story about friendship, belonging and being true to yourself. * minitravellers.co.uk *

In the Key of Code is thoroughly original in both concept and execution, and it manages to sneak in an empowering history of women's involvement in computers too. * Irish Times *

In the US, more open-ended, hip-hop-inspired "novels" in verse have been in circulation for some time. In the Key of Code (Walker) is a highlight in that relatively recent tradition. Aimee Lucido's debut is told in the form of poems, liberally littered with computer code and musical terminology. It is a daring exercise in form that carries its story very well. New girl Emmy, 12, is the unmusical child of musicians, and starting school in San Francisco. As she navigates the mean-girl social codes and a tense home life, coding club becomes an unlikely sanctuary. But her new friendship with Abigail is fraught with tension, and their amazing computer science teacher Ms Delaney is more often absent than not. You might not have thought that the words "PUB-lic STAT-ic voidmain string BRACK-et BRACK-et ARGS" could bring a computer layperson to tears, but they did, as this uncommon book reached its crescendo. -- Kitty Empire * the guardian *

Aimee Lucido is a software engineer by day, writer by night. She did her undergrad degree in computer science at Brown and her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Hamline University. She spends her nine-to-five working at Uber on the Android rider-to-driver team (splitting her time between software engineering and being a diversity & inclusion advocate), and her five-to-nine pursuing her dream of being a writer. In her free time she writes crossword puzzles and performs musical improv with her team Flash Mob Musical. She lives in San Francisco.

General Fields

  • : 9781406389333
  • : Walker Books Australia Pty, Limited
  • : Walker Books Australia
  • : December 2019
  • : 2.7 Centimeters X 13 Centimeters X 19.9 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 813.6
  • : 416
  • : Aimee Lucido
  • : Paperback