Book Report
Ruby Wizardry
An Introduction to Programming for Kids

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 28th, 2015

Images presented here are from the PDF version of the book.

When I was younger, I used to goof around on Commodore Pet computers in school, learning the basics of programming. This curiosity extended to my home life when my parents brought a Commodore 128 into our home. Sure, there were plenty of great games, but it was fun to make my own small diversions – it instilled a great sense of self-confidence and satisfaction. Even in university I took a few Computer Science courses to address my programming bug. With the accumulation of various responsibilities as I got older, my mindset slowly migrated towards that of a game player rather than a game maker – and with languages being different than what I grew up with, the pull has been minimal.

And it’s not just me; there is so much to consume in terms of apps that the lure to simply play is strong – even in kids. Recently, I was introduced to a programming language called Ruby. This introduction was brokered via a book written for a younger crowd, but is a valuable resource for adults as well. With a simple (yet effective) storytelling style, Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids (written by Eric Weinstein, published by No Starch Press) enlightens readers on the basic concepts of programming through Ruby‎, and is engaging and fun enough to captivate and inspire a younger audience.

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Kiwaka Story

By Jorge Figueiredo - July 17th, 2014


Smallest Thumbs and I are suckers for a good story. Kiwaka Story, an eBook from international mobile app company LANDKA, tells a tale that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This app, which is designed for iPod, iPhone and iPad, is entertaining and educational.

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By Jorge Figueiredo - September 30th, 2013


Vaporware is a story by Richard Dansky, a videogame industry vet who draws upon his wealth of insider knowledge to weave a somewhat realistic tapestry around a highly improbable occurrence. The story is pretty good; but the subject matter is what limits who might want to read it.

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Win a Copy of Twilight – In Their Own Words

By Jorge Figueiredo - November 9th, 2012


Recently, Rebecca reviewed an e-book about the starring actors from Twilight. The eBook People have been kind enough to donate five vouchers for this e-book to Toronto Thumbs to give away to fans of the series. What do you have to do? It’s pretty easy.

All you have to do is either:

  • Like our page on Facebook and comment and/or share this contest post on there.
  • Follow us on Twitter and retweet the contest Tweet.

On November 30 at 23:59 we will draw at random from everyone that did the above and five winners will be picked. Good luck!

The Rolling Stones
Views from the Inside, Views from the Outside

By Mike Jackson - October 31st, 2012


This being my first book review, I found the task slightly more difficult than writing about video games. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to quantify makes a game good (graphics, game-play, etc.); whereas a book is much more subjective – especially when the material is non-fiction. It is also worth mentioning that I don’t read nearly as much as some people: my days are filled with reading and writing countless e-mails; technical documents also tend to be what I have to be into these days – so reaching for a book to unwind isn’t really top of mind. However, Jorge knows all about my love of music, and thought that this e-book (The Rolling Stones: Views from the Inside, Views from the Outside) would be something that I would dig.

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Check This Out!
Twilight – In Their Own Words

By Rebecca Larocque - October 26th, 2012


Like it or not, it’s clear that the Twilight saga is a hugely popular cultural phenomenon. The books have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide; they have been translated into almost 40 different languages; and they have won truckloads of awards. Then there’s the movie franchise: the first four of the five five films (the fourth book was split into two movies) have grossed over $4 billion in the box office and in DVD sales. The three main stars of the movies (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner) became household names overnight and were catapulted into the spotlight. There have been interviews, photos, essays, and countless column spaced used to dissect them almost every week since the movies were first announced back in 2007.

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