In the Key of Code


Aimee Lucido, In the Key of Code, Walker Books Ltd., March 2020, 416 pp., RRP $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781406389333

Emmy is twelve years old and has music in her blood. Both of her parents are musicians, and although she loves music, she never seems to be able to make it herself. When Emmy moves to a new town and a new school, she has never felt so out of tune. However, when she finds herself in computer class with the incredible Ms. Delaney, she discovers that she can make music of a different kind, on a different type of keyboard. As her love for programming grows, Emmy finds a friend in the only other girl in computer class, Abigail, and she finally doesn’t feel like a wrong note, but like she truly belongs. 

Feelings of not belonging and inadequacy, family conflict, discovering yourself and self-empowerment, and friendship are key themes in this book. It explores many of the ups and downs a 12 year old girl may face in the modern world. This empowering and lovely story is written in a series of poems in the perspective of Emmy. In the beginning of the book many music terms are used to describe how she feels, however as she learns more about coding, coding language is used as well. This unique writing style makes the book much more interesting to read and gives readers a real insight into the life of Emmy. 

I really enjoyed this pure story and its raw and creative writing style. I would recommend it to anyone nine or older, particularly younger girls. 

Reviewed by Libby Boas  

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