theodp writes "Are you or your kid intrigued by Python, but not quite ready to purchase an in-depth O'Reilly book? Zed A. Shaw's 2nd edition of Learn Python The Hard Way may be a friendlier option. Shaw's path to Python programming is simple: 1. Go through each exercise, 2. Type in each sample exactly, 3. Make it run. If $60 for the hardcover is too much to ask, or $15.99 for paperback, you can spend a measly buck for the PDF/ePub download. Still too steep? OK, there's even a free online HTML edition. After completing the 52 exercises, Shaw's concluding Advice From An Old Programmer says, 'Which programming language you learn and use doesn't matter. Do not get sucked into the religion surrounding programming languages as that will only blind you to their true purpose of being your tool for doing interesting things.'"