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Title: Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ, 5th ed.
Author: David J. Barnes; Michael Kölling
Course: Computer Science A
Abstract/Summary: "Lessons in this textbook are truly practical: by page 10 students have created an original image using multiple objects from multiple classes. In the process, students construct objects and call their methods, passing parameters as needed. They will have used three data types and should have a good mental picture of an object and its state. On page 11, they see code for the first time. The BlueJ IDE did the work behind the sceneseven creating the code. BlueJ is free and runs on all computers. Although it is a key to getting the most out of this text, this is not a book about BlueJ. As James Gosling, creator of Java and author of the Foreword states, "& this book isn't about BlueJ. It is about programming. In Java." (Barnes and Kölling xiii)

Objects First with Java is easy and pleasant to read. It takes an iterative approach, introducing important concepts simply and adding details later. New content and explanations are interspersed with multiple exercises. The projects are relevant to studentssimulations, a music organizer, and parts of a shopping website and social networking application. Motivated students will benefit from studying the well-documented code provided to implement the more complex portions of these projects. APCS teachers will probably find it necessary to pick and choose as they get into the second half of the book as it goes well beyond the prescribed curriculum. However, the extra material is ideal for "after the exam" projects.

The emphasis on testing and good design fits well with the philosophy behind the GridWorld case study, but teachers will have to supplement this text with GridWorld lessons. Coverage of ethical and social implications of computing, numerical representations and limits, and recursion will also need to be added by the teacher.

The CD included with the book contains sample projects, JDK 1.6.0, BlueJ 3.0.5, and a BlueJ Tutorial. These resources are also available online. Access to VideoNotes, an online set of videos, is included for six months in the price of the book; it is renewable at a cost of $24. At the time of this review, the Instructor Manual and PowerPoint slides were not yet available. See http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Objects-First-with-Java-A-Practical-Introduction-Using-BlueJ/9780132492669.page for more information."
Publication Data: Prentice Hall, 2012;
ISBN 978-0-13-249266-9
Type: Textbook
Cost: $117.00
AP Specific: No
Link to Resource: http://www.mypearsonstore.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0132492660
Reviewer Name: Renee Ciezki        
Review Last Modified: Mar 22, 2012 11:57:50 AM

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