Learning to code can be a rewarding and enriching experience, and for many students, diving into a well-written book is an excellent way to learn at their own pace. Reading allows students to explore concepts more deeply, offering the flexibility to re-read, practice, and experiment, which can complement and enhance their classroom learning experience.
Below we'll explore a variety of Python programming books designed for young learners ranging from elementary school kids to teenagers. These seven books have been selected based on their outstanding reviews and their ability to provide a thorough learning experience at a reasonable price. Whether your child is a complete beginner or has some coding experience, there’s a book below which can introduce them to the exciting world of Python programming, helping them develop valuable skills they can apply in the real world!
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Explore Some of the Best Python Coding for Kids Books
There are countless Python books out there to choose from—so much so that knowing where to start can be overwhelming. We’ll provide you with insight into the goals and methods of each book, as well as the skills students will develop along the way, so you can pick the best reads for your student!
“Coding for Kids” is an engaging and fun introduction to Python programming for kids. This book stands out due to its hands-on approach, with 50 fun (and sometimes silly!) exercises that help children learn essential programming concepts while developing problem-solving skills. Reviewers have praised the book for its clear explanations, logical progression, helpful illustrations, and step-by-step guidance, making it an excellent resource for young learners. By the end of the book, kids will have a solid understanding of Python and will be able to apply their skills to create simple games, animations, and real-world applications, such as solving math problems or automating tasks.
Best for ages: 10-15
Skill level: Beginners with no prior coding experience
“Create Coding in Python” is a guide that introduces kids to Python programming through a series of imaginative and artistic coding projects. The book covers a wide range of topics, including graphics, animations, simulations, and interactive applications, all presented in a way that sparks curiosity and creativity. Some of the projects include a chatbot, creating geometric art, interactive fiction, dice games, and arcade games. Reviewers have commended the book for being accessible to beginners, covering practical topics like how to save files, and featuring projects which kids find fun and interesting. By completing the projects in this book, kids will not only acquire a strong foundation in Python, but they will also have already created some programs which could be expanded upon to become more useful in real-world situations, such as the chatbot project.
Best for ages: 10-12
Skill level: Beginners with little or no prior coding experience
“Coding Projects in Python” is an interactive guide for kids who started with Scratch, and are ready to learn Python programming through exciting projects. The book’s projects include a program that cracks secret codes, a quiz to challenge family and friends, a matching game, and more. Reviewers appreciate the book's well-structured layout, full-color visuals, and easy-to-follow instructions, which make it accessible to young learners. It also dives into important libraries for concepts like random number generation, but keeps the explanations simple and approachable. As kids progress through the book, they'll develop a strong foundation in Python, allowing them to create all sorts of fun game and puzzle projects. It will also prepare them to tackle more advanced subjects such as automation and application development.
Best for ages: 9-12
Skill level: Beginners with some prior coding experience
"Mission Python” is an imaginative resource that teaches kids Python programming through the creation of a thrilling space adventure game. Throughout the book, readers will learn essential coding concepts while building their very own game, complete with customizable graphics, sound effects, and engaging gameplay. Reviewers have praised the book for its unique approach, captivating storyline, and clear explanations that make learning Python enjoyable and accessible to young learners. Although the focus of the book is creating the space adventure game, along the way readers learn the foundational building blocks needed to apply Python concepts to real-world problems as well, such as application development, data science, and automation.
Best for ages: 12-17
Skill level: Beginners with some basic understanding of coding concepts
"Python for Teenagers” is an enjoyable and practical guide that teaches Python programming to high schoolers, preparing them for future job opportunities. The book covers a wide range of programming concepts, from basics like variables, loops, and functions to more advanced topics such as building websites, white-hat hacking, and creating games. Reviewers have appreciated the book for its relatable examples, clear explanations, and informal tone. As kids work through the book, they'll develop a solid foundation in Python programming and acquire valuable skills that can be applied to various real-world applications, such as web development, ethical hacking, and software development.
Best for ages: 13+
Skill level: Older beginners with little to no prior coding experience
“Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python” is a book aimed at learners who have a good understanding of the fundamentals, and are ready to move on to more complex topics in Python. This book focuses on developing a good coding style, identifying and fixing bugs, writing good functions, optimizing performance, and object-oriented programming. It also features two large practice projects at the end of the book. Reviewers have praised the book for focusing on building skills beyond the basics in a way which is engaging and well-written. As learners work through this book, they’ll develop the skills they need to develop complex applications with a deeper understanding of project structure and more advanced tools to write their programs more effectively.
Best for ages: 13+
Skill level: Intermediate
“Advanced Python Development” is all about Python features which are not necessarily covered in beginner and intermediate books. It’s designed for programmers who can already write simple programs in Python and want to understand when it’s appropriate to use advanced Python features, and is especially useful to coders looking to progress to a more senior level with Python development. Reviewers appreciate the author’s willingness to dive into lesser-covered fine details of Python development, making effective use of more obscure features of the language and of important libraries which may not be covered in more beginner-level books. Upon finishing this book, coders will understand what asynchronous programming is, how to develop plugins, working with type annotations, testing techniques, and how to properly package a complex Python project. This is a great book for anyone who is fully comfortable with the common usages of Python, and is looking to take the next step on the path to a mid-to-senior level software developer career.
Best for ages: 13+
Skill level: Advanced
Read Python Coding for Kids Books
These are just a few of the books available to get started with Python. To find out about more books about coding, check out our post on the best coding books for kids or our post on the best coding books for teens. And if you’re looking for a more interactive approach to learning to code with Python, you can check out Create & Learn’s free introductory class on Python for AI, led live by an expert instructor! We also have a guide with all sorts of helpful Python coding resources for parents.
Written by Create & Learn instructor Josh Abbott Salazar. Josh is a teacher, coder, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating with a Master's in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Josh turned his attention to the technology side of things, and has been working in various aspects of coding and engineering ever since. He runs a small music studio in Nashville called Tango Sound Studios, and develops video games in his spare time.