Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Hacking the Code Review

Looking for a book that tackles dyslexia through the eyes of an elementary school kid? I can’t wait to tell you about Hacking the Code by author Gea Meijering and illustrator Mads Johan ØGaard!

Multicultural Children's Book Day is back... This year I'm reviewing Hacking the Code by Gea Meijering.

(I received a complimentary copy of this title for review purposes. Also, this post contains referral links; see disclosure for details.)

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is in its 10th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen. This non-profit children’s literacy initiative seeks to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

Ten years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about the MCBD Mission & History HERE.

For us, that celebration of diversity comes in the form of Hacking the Code: The Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D-Kid. This MCBD selection is a wonderful way to experience life through the eyes of a 5th grader with dyslexia. 

Hacking the Code

Hacking the Code is a story about a kid that focuses on his time at school. While this school time involves some pranks and shenanigans with friends, it also involves day-to-day school life for Kees, a kid with dyslexia. So, while there’s plenty of fun for kids to enjoy in this book, there’s also a component of understanding how hard it is to live in an Android world if you have an Apple brain.

(This Apple or Android comparison is used throughout the book to help readers grasp how differently the brain works for those with dyslexia.)

Despite these challenges for Kees, we also find encouragement in this story through his friendships, creativity, and the unexpected results from a paper he had to write. This paper — as hard as it was for him to write it — had the added benefit of helping his principal understand how difficult reading and writing can be for people with dyslexia.

All that to say, this is a fun read, but also a meaningful one that highlights often-overlooked challenges. Better yet, Hacking the Code helps both Apple and Android kids understand their strengths and celebrate them.

Hacking the Code: A Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

You can find Hacking the Code wherever you buy books. Also worth noting, it’s available as an audiobook to make it accessible to all types of readers. (I’ll add that the narrator does a fantastic job of capturing the emotional inner dialogue Kees has when he feels frustrated, overwhelmed, or insecure about dyslexia.)

From a homeschooling perspective, I sometimes take for granted how easy it is for me to identify my kids’ challenges and pivot as needed to make our learning goals work for them. That can be a lot tougher to pull off in classroom environments, so I’m grateful for the reminder and awareness Hacking the Code presents.

Reading it as a parent and home educator made me appreciate the teachers and administrators who work to help *all students* learn and grow in whatever ways are needed.

*FREE* Hacking the Code Lesson Plans

You can take your experience reading Hacking the Code to the next level by working through this free 35-page download from iCarePress.

Hacking the Code is a wonderful stand-alone read, but iCarePress has an awesome and FREE lesson plan and activity guide to enjoy while reading along. We found this to be a great resource and an especially helpful way to really understand what reading and writing are like for kids like Kees.

There's an awesome free lesson plan available to use with Hacking the Code!

Also worth noting, the download offers lots of cool ways to help kiddos write outside of traditional pen-and-paper writing. The written response prompts and the comic maker activities were the two my kiddo enjoyed the most.


MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

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Poster Artist:  Lisa Wee

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan Hong .  Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett . Josh Funk .  Stephanie M. Wildman . Gwen Jackson . Diana Huang .  Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw .  Eugenia Chu . Jacqueline Jules . Alejandra Domenzain .  Gaia Cornwall .  Ruth Spiro .  Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo .  Tonya Duncan Ellis .  Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books .  Kimberly Lee .  Tameka Fryer Brown . Talia Aikens-Nuñez .  Marcia Argueta Mickelson .  Kerry O’Malley Cerra .  Jennie Liu .  Heather Murphy Capps .  Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy .  Irene Latham and Charles Waters . Maritza M Mejia .  Lois Petren .  J.C. Kato and J.C.² .  CultureGroove .  Lindsey Rowe Parker .  Red Comet Press .  Shifa Saltagi Safadi .  Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio . Asha Hagood .  Priya Kumari .  Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman .  Teresa Robeson . Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson . Rochelle Melander, . Alva Sachs .  Moni Ritchie Hadley .  Gea Meijering . Frances Díaz Evans .  Michael Genhart .  Angela H. Dale .  Courtney Kelly . Queenbe Monyei . Jamia Wilson . Charnaie Gordon . Debbie Ridpath Ohi .  Debbie Zapata .  Jacquetta Nammar Feldman . Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli .  Kitty Feld . Anna Maria DiDio .  Ko Kim . Shachi Kaushik 

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2023

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s CoHost Team. They not only host the book review link-up on celebration day, but also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View the CoHosts and Global CoHosts HERE.

More from Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is more than a collection of kidlit book reviews! They also have free classroom kits focusing on the following topics:

You can also find diversity activities for educators and parents along with booklists and activities for homeschool families.

Looking for a book that explores life through the eyes of a kiddo with dyslexia? Hacking the Code by Gea Meijering can help!

And finally, I invite you to learn more about previous books we discovered through Multicultural Children’s Book Day. You can check them out through the reviews below:

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