In the US, more open-ended, hip-hop-inspired “novels” in verse have been in circulation for some time. In the Key of Code is a highlight in that relatively recent tradition. Aimee Lucido’s debut is told in the form of poems, liberally littered with computer code and musical terminology. It is a daring exercise in form that carries its story very well. New girl Emmy, 12, is the unmusical child of musicians, and starting school in San Francisco. As she navigates the mean-girl social codes and a tense home life, coding club becomes an unlikely sanctuary. But her new friendship with Abigail is fraught with tension, and their amazing computer science teacher Ms Delaney is more often absent than not. You might not have thought that the words “PUB-lic STAT-ic voidmain string BRACK-et BRACK-et ARGS” could bring a computer layperson to tears, but they did, as this uncommon book reached its crescendo.