While there are countless resources online to aid in learning code, sometimes, a good book does the trick. In this post, we’ll cover some of the best coding books for teens. We cover a wide range of books in multiple languages and about diverse topics. Whether your teen wants to learn a specific language, dig into games or machine learning, or simply learn more about programming, we’ve got a recommendation for you!

Discover the best coding books for teens

Below, we’ve reviewed seven great coding books to help teens learn coding. Check out the whole list for upcoming holidays and birthdays, or use this resource to find the right book for your student's coding journey. In case your reader prefers to experience live expert guidance for similar topics covered in each book, we've also included related live online class options.

1. Coding for Kids: Python

If you’re looking for a good, all purpose introduction to Python, Coding for Kids: Python is sure to please. This book offers many well-scaffolded projects for beginner Python coders, and also helps students learn critical techniques like how to debug a program. Coding for Kids: Python walks aspiring coders through everything they need to get started, from downloading Python and choosing an IDE to progressively more difficult coding lessons that cover core concepts. There are even challenges at the end of every lesson for kids who want to push themselves a little bit further.

Best for: Learning a new language

2. Beginner’s Step-by-Step Coding Course: Learn Computer Programming the Easy Way

A large part of becoming a confident programmer is getting good with the basics. From loops to conditionals to variables, most coding languages share common ideas. Beginner’s Step-by-Step Coding Course uses colorful visuals and lots of well-thought out analogies to teach coding fundamentals. There’s also project tutorials that reinforce these concepts, and instructions for how to complete these tutorials in several different, common languages.

Best for: Understanding coding concepts

3. Coding for Teens: Minecraft and Lua

Many students we teach become passionate about programming because of Minecraft. Minecraft, a digital space where you can build, create, and hang out with friends, has an in-game coding sandbox where students can grow their game world. This book teaches kids coding concepts through the Minecraft lens, prepping them for more advanced languages later in life. Lua will also translate to Roblox if that’s more your student’s speed.

Best for: Building custom Minecraft mods

4. Machine Learning for Kids: A Project-Based Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Often called the “fourth wave” of computing, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are super interesting, relevant topics for kids interested in programming. Getting started with ML/AI can be daunting, especially for people with little-to-no coding experience, but this book breaks down hard ideas into kid-friendly concepts. Using Scratch, students code their own ML projects and learn the basics of AI.

Best for: Digging into Machine Learning

5. JavaScript Coding for Teens: A Beginner's Guide to Developing Websites and Games

For more advanced teens, jumping into Javascript may be rewarding and fun! Javascript is a great language for students who want to get into web-dev, or building interactive websites. Javascript Coding for Teens gives clear, step-by-step instructions for how to get started, and helps make it clear why Javascript is such a useful, versatile language.

Best for: Learning how to build a website

6. The Gamer's Guide to Coding: Design, Code, Build, Play

The Gamer’s Guide is another JavaScript-based book, but this one focuses mostly on game design. Most students we teach come to coding because they want to build their own games, and this guide is a great springboard. Coders learn how to build 2D games about whatever they may choose. No programming experience is technically required, but having some background in a written language may be helpful.

Best for: Creating a game

7. Problem Solvers: 15 Innovative Women Engineers and Coders

One of the greatest ways to inspire young coders is to show them examples of how others have succeeded. Released earlier this month, Problem Solvers details the lives of fifteen inspirational STEM stars who have contributed to the world of science and programming. Not only are these women incredibly smart and accomplished, but also they demonstrate grit in overcoming many, very real challenges. This book is great for students of all ages and genders, but will probably be most suited to middle schoolers

Best for: Getting inspired!

Get the best coding books for teens

Feeling inspired by any of these books? Grab a copy online or from your local library today! If your student would like some more guided learning from experienced teachers, check out some of our classes geared towards teens.

Written by Sarah Rappaport, who graduated from Northwestern University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and music. She's now working on a masters in data with Georgia Institute of Technology. She taught math and computer science with Teach for America for two years, and now works as a Systems Engineer.