Getting In On The Games – Fiction For and About Gamers

Video games, whether on computers, consoles, tablets, or handheld players are fun diversions for many people of all ages. For serious players the worlds within games offer an escape, communities of like-minded individuals, and mild (or not so mild) obsessions for the players. It is no wonder that authors have used video games as subject matter, setting, plot device, or even characters in their work. Here are some great novels, divided into children’s fiction and young adult fiction, that might particularly appeal to gamers and those that lose them to the games.gamerj1

My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian
Derek Fallon gets the chance of a lifetime when he is asked to test software for new video games, but he soon discovers that his dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreibergamerj4
When video game obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him.

Game On! by D.J. Steinberg
When Old Fogey escapes from prison and creates a video game that physically sucks the players into the game, it is up to Daniel, aka Loud Boy, and his friends to call upon their superpowers to rescue the captured players.

More children’s books that video game fans and players might really enjoy include:The Time Hackers by Gary Paulsen, Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde,Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind by Jeff Miller, Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett, Brainboy and the Deathmaster by Tor Seidler, Herbert’s Wormhole by Peter Nelson, and Game On! by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm.

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Young Adults
Playing Tyler by TL Costa
Tyler MacCandless feels trapped caring for his older brother in rehab and working at gamerya1McDonald’s, until he is introduced to a new video game that could earn him a place in flight school, but may also be very different than it appears.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a disadvantaged Chinese kid who works illegally to gamerya8collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and gamerya4disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator.

More young adult books that video game fans and players might really enjoy include: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Neuromancer by William Gibson, The Peripheral by William Gibson, For the Win by Cory Doctorow, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card,  In Real Life by Lawrence Tabak, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, Erebos: It’s a Game: It Watches You by Ursula Poznanski, Epic by Conor Kostick, Insignia by S. J. Kincaid, The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak by Brian Katcher, and Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff.

Our Most Popular Non Fiction Series for Children

IMG_3100When biography and nonfiction book reports are assigned in school, there is one series that most middle grade readers go to first. Most will head straight for the Who Was biographies and the What Was and Where Is nonfiction series. These books cut straight to the important facts about the subject matter, while making the reading both fun and interesting. In fact, these books are so popular that it is hard to keep them on the shelf even when there are no school projects looming. To see just how few of these popular books actually are in the library right now, check out the small wooden stand outside the Teens Room.

whowas1This series is published by Penguin, and covers an extensive list of people, places, and events that are important historically or are currently relevant in pop culture. The books are easily recognizable by the caricature style drawing of biography subjects and bold cartoon work of all their covers.  There are also illustrations throughout the books and extra bits of information that make the reading more fun. For big fans of the series Penguin has a website where readers can keep track of which books they have read and test their knowledge.

whowas2There is a book club here at the library that meets once a month and focuses on the Who Was series. About a month before each meeting, a librarian will select a book from the series for everyone to read. At the meeting, readers chat about what they discovered in the book and do one or more fun activities inspired by that person’s life. For more info on when the group is meeting check out our events calendar.

what1Here is a small sampling of the wide variety of people, places, and events this series explores; Who is Jane Goodall? by Roberta Edwards, What is the World Series? by Gail Herman, What was the Battle of Gettysburg? by Jim O’Connor, Who was Dr. Seuss? by Janet Pascal, What was Hurricane Katrina? by Robin Koontz, Who was Betsy Ross? by James Buckley, Where is Mount Rushmore? by True Kelley, Who was Frederick Douglass? by April Jones, What is the Panama Canal? by Janet B. Pascal, Who is Stan Lee? by Geoff Edgers, What was the March on Washington? by Kathleen Krull, and Where is the Great Wall? by Patricia Brennan Demuth.