7 Best Free Books to Learn about Scratch

Scratch is a visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch teaches programming concepts to kids, offering a stepping stone to more complicated programming languages. Coding includes dragging and dropping various code blocks and linking them together like jigsaw pieces to form logical scripts. While the MIT Media Lab designed this language for 8-16 year-old children, it is used by people of all ages.

Scratch has received many plaudits as an ideal way to introduce kids to computer programming and computational thinking. It’s a fantastic beginner’s language. Scratch is often used to make games, interactive stories, and animations, but it can be used for any purpose. The language uses event-driven programming with multiple active objects. The language helps students to think creatively, reason logically, and work together. The language is frequently used in schools, libraries, community centres, and museums.

Scratch is released under an open source license. I recommend 7 free books that really help young people master Scratch. These recommended texts are also open source goodness.

1. Scratch Programming Playground: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games by Al Sweigart

Scratch Programming PlaygroundScratch Programming Playground: Learn to Program warrants our strongest recommendation for anyone looking to learn Scratch from scratch (pun intended). You don’t need any programming knowledge. As long as you’ve mastered basic arithmetic, you’ll be fine with the material here. The book makes Scratch very easy to learn for all ages.

This book is not intended to offer a complete guide to Scratch, but there’s enough material to begin you on your journey. Along the way you’ll learn Scratch by writing some fun games such as Maze Runner, Fruit Slicer, Platformer, and Asteroid Breaker.

Scratch Programming Playground is free to read online under a Creative Commons license.

The online version is available to read at There’s also print and ebook versions available to purchase.

2. Learn to Code with Scratch by The MagPi Team

Learn to Code with Scratch Learn to Code with Scratch helps you start coding with Scratch, guiding you step by step through the process of creating all sorts of projects: games, animations, quizzes, electronics circuits, and more.

It’s educational and bags of fun.

The book is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Read the PDF book at

3. {code club} Book of Scratch by Rik Cross, Tracy Gardner

Book of ScratchBook of Scratch teaches you how to code with Scratch and Code Club.

You’ll tackle fun topics such as how to use Scratch and start coding, make music with a fun coding project, create an animation, build a spooky ghost-catching game, code your own chatbot, learn how co-ordinates work with a fun game, create a boat racing game, and there’s some handy cope snippets for integrating in your own projects.

If you’re not aware, Code Club is a fantastic collection of computing clubs around the world where young people learn how to write games, animations, websites, and more.

Read this PDF book at The book is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

The MagPi Team have written other useful computing books away from Scratch such as an Introduction to C & GUI programming.

4. An Introduction to Computing Science: Starting from Scratch – (updated 2016 using Scratch 2)

Starting from ScratchThis book seeks to introduce learners to Computing Science via the Scratch 2.0 programming environment.

The package includes a tutor pack, a learner pack, together with media files, and screencasts.

Chapters cover the following topics: Scratching the Surface, Story Time, A Mazing Game, Get the Picture?, and Forest Archery Game.

Some of the material within this resource is based on existing work from the ScratchEd site, reproduced and adapted under Creative Commons license.

To read the book visit the Computer Science Resources section at

Next page: Page 2 – Creative Computing and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Scratch Programming Playground: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games and more books
Page 2 – Creative Computing and more books

All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
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