September 29, 2016 • Cee • Comics

Welcome to the Reading Without Walls blog tour!

I have the honor of taking part in this awesome blog tour, where participants celebrate the publication of Gene Luen Yang’s Paths and Portals and encouraging readers—especially young ones—to read outside of their comfort zone by reading STEM books—a book dealing with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. It’ll educate and nurture them on a topic or issues they aren’t familiar with, thus expanding their minds.

I’ll be talking about the Secret Coders series by Gene Luen Yang and Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks.

Comics/graphic novels are not exactly out of my comfort zone. It’s actually what I love reading. However, if you give me books about coding? Now that’s totally outside my comfort zone.

The Secret Coders series took me on a nostalgia trip. I was transported back to when I was 11 years old. In sixth grade, once a week, my teacher would take my class to the computer lab for older students to teach the class about coding. I remember it being the highlight of my week. Numbers can be hard to grasp onto, but I loved the way it worked with computers. I was always so proud when I was praised for easily I picked up binary numbers and the bits of coding we did in class. It was fun.


  • Stately Academy is not the school you think it is.

There’s more to this school than meets the eye. It’s not a normal school, not with the creepy birds perched in trees or rooflines and chained up doors with a grouchy janitor who shoos away kids. It’s the first day that Hopper’s at the school, and she can already sense something’s off with this school. Hopper and a new friend Eni will discover the secret that the school holds, and it has something to do with computer codes, birds, and robots.

  • The friendships are amazing.

Who would’ve thought Hopper, Eni, and Josh would become friends because of coding? It’s amazing to see them bond through their common interest in coding. Their relationship is a very nurturing one. They’re all learning together about coding and programming. They encourage each other and build each other up. They’re using coding to solve mysteries!

  • It illustrates how coding works.

Coding is an entirely different language. It’s a language I never quite mastered. In Secret Coders and Paths & Portals, Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes make it easier for readers to understand by having all the codes and puzzles illustrated. The way he presents each codes and puzzles are very accessible and easy to understand, and it’s just fun to see how everything is visualized. When you see the numbers and codes on paper (without an illustration), it’s hard to process it into something real. You need examples and a different way of understanding it, which is what the illustrations help do.

  • It presents readers puzzles they can try to figure out.

Everything in the Secret Coders graphic novels teaches you all about computers and coding. You learn about binary numbers and program codes with forward, turns, and length. The graphic novels leave room for readers to figure out what’s the next sequence of the puzzle. Readers can write their own code to make a hexagon or whatever the graphic novel asks you to try. It’s so satisfying when you can grasp the language. Everybody can be able to figure out the puzzles.

  • There will be more!

The Secret Coders series doesn’t stop at two books! There will be another one out next year! Yeeeee.

Are you convinced? Add the Secret Coders series to your TBR on Goodreads. Go buy this graphic novel series from your local comic book store, or these online retailers: Amazon (1, 2) · Barnes & Noble (1, 2) · The Book Depository (1, 2) · Indigo (1, 2). Or borrow it from your library (1, 2). 

Welcome to the Human Body Theater, where your master of ceremonies is going to lead you through a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body!

Human Body Theater is a lot of fun! When I was younger, I didn’t go out of my way to read about the human body; it’s something I didn’t find interesting to read on my own because books I encountered were very textbook and boring. However, Human Body Theater is not like that.

What I loved most about Human Body Theater are these four things: 1. I learn about the human body—the skeleton, muscles, respiratory system, digestive system, and so on; 2. it’s full of puns; 3. the art is adorable; and 4. all the information is presented very clearly and in an entertaining. It’s what I wanted when I was a kid—a fun and visual learning experience. Young readers will have a lot of fun reading this. It doesn’t feel like a chore reading because the illustrations are eye-catching. It’s like you’re watching a performance. It’s brilliant.

Are you convinced? Add Human Body Theater to your TBR on Goodreads. Go buy this graphic novel series from your local comic book store, or these online retailers: Amazon · Barnes & Noble · The Book Depository · Indigo. Or borrow it from your library. 

Reading the Secret Coders series and Human Body Theater made me excited to read more STEM graphic novels. I’m learning so much and expanding my mind! I know young readers will be able to too when they pick up these graphic novels.

Don’t forget to check out the previous stops on these awesome blog tour!


August 31: Colby at Sharp Read
September 1: 
Jess at Reading Nook Reviews
September 2:
Samantha at Forest of Words and Pages
September 5:
Jennifer at YA Book Nerd
September 6:
Maria at Maria’s Mélange
September 7:
Gigi at Late Bloomer’s Book Blog
September 8:
Jen at Starry Eyed Revue
September 9:
Cheyenne at The Hollow Cupboards
September 12: Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
September 13: April at Good Books and Good Wine
September 14: Cindy at Charting by the Stars
September 15: Erica at The Book Cellar
September 16: Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks
September 19:  Asheley at Into the Hall of Books
September 20:  Daphne at Gone Pecan
September 21: Mary Ann at Great Kids Books
September 22: Kathy at The Brain Lair
September 23:  Michelle & Leslie at Undeniably (Book) Nerdy
September 26: Laurie at Reader Girls
September 27:  Margie at Librarian’s Quest
September 28: Victoria at Art, Books, & Coffee
September 29: Cee at The Novel Hermit
September 30:  Amanda at Forever Young Adult


One Response to “READING WITHOUT WALLS • Crack These STEM Graphic Novels”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    These graphic novels sound like so much fun! I may have to snag them for my cousins, who I feel would really enjoy them – especially Human Body Theater ;)

Leave a Reply