By: Deirdre Langeland and Sarah Mai
Genre: YFW - Comic strip fiction / graphic novels
Published by: Harper Collins Publishers
Published: 28 Apr 2023
ISBN: 9780358549314


In this funny and heartfelt slice-of-life graphic novel for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller, when coding whiz Zoey goes from home schooled to new school, she develops an app to help her make friends. Will the Cool Code help Zoey fit in or will it completely crash her social life? In an attempt to fit in, Zoey develops an app called the Cool Code with a cute llama avatar that will tell her everything from what to say to what to wear based on popculture algorithms she’s uploaded.

But when the app gives her ridiculous advice, awkwardness and hilarity ensues. With a few upgrades and a bit of debugging from the coding club, the app actually works—Zoey gets really popular . . .and gets her pulled in all kinds of directions, including away from her real friends.

Life’s most complicated choices. . . is there a code for that?

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Zoey has been home schooled for her entire life. But now, in the middle of Year Eight, her parents’ business is about to take off and they have decided it is time for that to change.

Luckily, Zoey is a pretty good programmer and she hopes that her newly developed Cool Code program might be able to help steer her towards coolness and make some friends.

When she is invited to an after school Coders Club, she meets Daniel and Morgan. They find out about the Cool Code and decide that it should be a joint project to perfect it.

So after lots of work, Version 2.0 is ready and designed to make Zoey cool – leading to her running for president and gaining lots of friends. It seems like the Cool Code has really worked!

But is this what Zoey wants, and at what cost to her relationship with both Daniel and Morgan?

This is an easy to relate to junior secondary graphic novel that has excellent characters including a female lead who is a coder, together with the ups and downs of being ‘cool’, and the importance of real friendship, making this a great book for those aged 10 – 14 years.

Reviewed by Rob