Dev Gualtieri's newly published Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16 is a thoughtfully designed introduction to crypto for kids.
It builds from a potted history of secret messages to a series of simple substitution ciphers, DIY cipher-wheels, fun steganography examples (like encoding messages with flowers or cartoon pigs), to advanced subjects like keyed ciphers, the Polybius cipher, the Vigenère cipher, and some exciting work with vectors.
The $18 paperback isn't cheap (it's a Createspace publish on demand title, and they're pricier than mass-produced titles), but there's a real shortage of material like this, and the price won't break the bank. There are kids for whom this would be the perfect gift, and it would also make a great addition to library collections (especially school libraries). There's a preview here.
Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16
Dream Askew and Dream Apart are "no-dice, no masters" RPGs where players collaborate to tell stories together without dice or dungeon masters: Dream Askew uses the system to create campaigns in "a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization" and Dream Apart is set in "a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe."
In Gregory Scott Katsoulis's All Rights Reserved, we get all the traditional trappings of a first-rate YA dystopia: grotesque wealth disparity leading to a modern caste system, draconian surveillance to effect social control in an inherently unstable state, ad-driven ubiquitous entertainment as the only distraction from environmental collapse -- but with an important difference.
A sprawling interview with artist and filmmaker Johannes Grenzfurthner on his latest movie Glossary of Broken Dreams.
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