Books To Inspire A Young Maker

Books that will help you grow a young engineer

Author’s profile picture

Jon Paterson

Lab Engineer, Barclays


So over the past couple of weeks I have been chatting with the other engineers about what books they have recommended to people over the year and what would be a great example for people looking to get into making.

Now these three books are aimed at all ages so are great for young and older minds.

How to Think Like a Coder

Without even trying

by Jim Christian

How to think like a coder - book cover

Recommended by Hannah in Edinburgh; a back-to-basics guide on coding for absolute beginners, whether adults or children – no prior experience required!

Coding is set to change the way we work and the skills we will need in the future. For those who know nothing about coding, getting to grips with the basics is daunting. 

Too many of the beginner books launch straight into programming techniques but what is really needed is an understanding of the key concepts of coding. Programming then becomes much easier to grasp. This accessible, fun book goes right back to the very basics, teaching central concepts such as loops, data types, pseudocode and calculations without having to learn a single line of code! Using a set of dice, a deck of cards or a pack of dominoes to enjoy fun and straightforward exercises, you will practise key skills such as critical thinking, creativity, logic and problem-solving and begin to think like a coder without even turning on your computer.

Once you are equipped with this basic toolkit, Think Like a Coder discusses the basic programmes that are available for beginners, keeping a focus on simple activities that draw analogies with the outside world to make learning easy and fun. Suitable for absolute beginners, adults and children.

micro:bit in Wonderland

Coding & Craft with the BBC micro:bit

by Dr Tracey Gardner & Elbrie de Kock

business directory

Recommended by Sharon in Bournemouth; Are you ready for an adventure with the BBC micro:bit in Wonderland?

Create 12 interactive projects, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and learn how to program the BBC micro:bit (microbit) mini computer using block-based coding. Gradually build modern skills as you learn about wearables, electronic games, e-textiles, electronics circuits, digital music, animation and much more.

The hands-on projects use simple, inexpensive electronics and everyday household and craft materials. The book provides a playful introduction for anyone new to coding, electronics and the BBC micro:bit. As you make each project you will develop important creative and computational thinking skills to enable you to imagine, design and create your own projects.

The projects are suitable for beginners aged 9 and over (including teens and adults). Younger children will require adult assistance, whereas older learners can work more independently using the easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with colour illustrations and photographs. Additional instructions, templates and bonus content are available on the accompanying website to make things easy for parents and teachers.

Written by computer scientist, Dr Tracy Gardner, and designer, Elbrie de Kock, micro:bit in Wonderland offers a springboard to develop modern skills, understand the digital world around you and explore technology and electronics in a creative way.

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn 

by Colleen Graves & Aaron Graves 

business directory

Recommended by me, Jon in Brighton; This book from start-to-finish has fun projects for makers of all types, ages and skill levels!

Written by two school librarians obsessed with making stuff, this easy-to-follow guide is full of hands-on, low-cost makerspace projects that will inspire inventors and makers of all ages. 

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn features practical tips for beginners and open-ended challenges for advanced makers. 

The book features dozens of classroom-tested, hands-on DIY projects and challenges. Each project features clear, non-technical step-by-step instructions with photos and illustrations to ensure success, expand the imagination, and foster innovation. You will explore recyclables hacks, smartphone tweaks, paper circuits, e-textiles, musical instruments, coding and programming, 3-D printing, and much, much more!

  • Fun projects spur the creativity of makers at every skill level
  • Covers trending technology such as littleBits, Makey Makey, and Sphero
  • Authored by a pair of experienced educators and dedicated makers.

Jon Paterson is based at Brighton Eagle Lab

Barclays are investing in the future of the London road area of Brighton & supporting businesses to embrace new and emerging technologies critical to the success of businesses in the UK.

Explore this Lab

Want to join the conversation?

Login to start talking with the community below.


Share this page

Go back to the top of the page