Found 5 comments on HN
Land of the LISP looked fun when I skimmed it at a bookstore. Teaches by building games.

jarcane · 2015-02-16 · Original thread
The classic systems were worlds ahead of most modern ones in one very important respect: documentation.

The Tandy/Radio Shack books for the Color Computer series (and it's astoundingly good LOGO implementation) were amazingly clear and concisely written with lots of examples, and because in those days even a disk drive wasn't a guarantee, all the examples were written to be hand-typed and experimented with.

There were even books in those days that aimed to teach kids machine language! [1]

That said, I think Djikstra and Felleisen may be slightly right about the long-term usefulness of old-fashioned BASIC and LOGO for learning, but there are a few books in modern languages that come close.

Hello World![2] was explicitly written to hearken back to those old manuals, by a father aiming to teach his 12-yo son programming with Python.

Land of Lisp[3] and Realm of Racket[4] also call to mind those old books as well, though they're targeting a bit older audience and have their quirks (LoL is a bit in-love with huge nested trees and a-lists in the examples, and Realm of Racket tends to gloss over a lot of the examples and expects you to just read the sample code rather than walking you through the process completely).

The Little Schemer[5] is also a fantastic little book that takes on the form almost of a set of brain-teasers, and teaches recursive thinking entirely by example and in methodical detail. The later chapters can be a bit stumpy, but if you go through the book step by step in regular sessions it builds on itself pretty well.

All of these are aiming at around the 12+ age range though, I don't think there's much out there anymore for anything younger.






hvd · 2014-09-07 · Original thread
coincidentally I am working through land of lisp, recommend it: Do I see myself using lisp in production code? Not in the near future. I do think there is value in learning something that exposes you to thinking in different ways, till now what Ive gained is that Python is pretty lispy!
blacksmythe · 2012-09-18 · Original thread

  >> The learning curve is tremendous.
Try "Land of Lisp"

sedachv · 2010-10-11 · Original thread
'"Learn You A Haskell" is very good, and I haven't seen anything like it for Common Lisp.'

It's actually inspired by Conrad Barski's 'Casting SPELs in Lisp' (, which in turn was inspired by Why's Guide to Ruby (I think). Conrad Barski actually wrote a Haskell comic book tutorial that predates 'Learn you a Haskell' ( Not only that, but Conrad's full-length Lisp tutorial comic book, Land of Lisp, is due to hit the shelves in four days:

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