This week, Year 6 have challenged me to recommend books to the whole school on the theme of “Video Games”.
For our youngest readers, The Screen Thief by Helen and Thomas Docherty is a cautionary tale of what happens when everyone is too busy looking at their screens.
When the Snaffle arrives in the city, she just wants to play, but everyone’s too busy staring at their screens. The Snaffle discovers that she likes screens, too – as a snack! When she chomps down every last screen in the city, that’s when the fun really starts . . .
Next, we have Press Start by Thomas Flintham, for children who love video games but aren’t allowed to play as often as they’d like. The first in a full-colour series of graphic novels about – and for – kids who love gaming! Join Sunny as he and Super Rabbit Boy take on the world, one move at a time!
Sunny’s favourite game is Super Rabbit Boy and he loves to pit his skills against King Viking who hates fun and happiness and wants to steal Singing Dog and bring sadness to Animal Town FOR EVER! Can Sunny help Super Rabbit Boy get to Level 6 and rescue Singing Dog and restore joy to Animal Town? Only if he defeats the Robot Army, dodges the Robo-Crabs and Lakes of Lava before battling King Viking himself! Has Sunny got the skills? Has Super Rabbit Boy eaten enough super magical carrots (SPOILER: origin story)? You’ll have to read and find out…
Sticking with illustrated fiction we then move on to Glitch by Sarah Graley, a fresh and funny middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl who must save a virtual world… and her own!
Izzy has an incredible secret — she can enter the world of her new video game! She meets Rae, a robot who says Izzy is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss. How is this possible?! And how can she fight for this virtual world when she’s got a whole real life to keep up with: her family (though she could do without her mom’s annoying cat), and her best friend, Eric. Things get even weirder when Izzy loses a life while inside the game, and she starts to worry about what might happen if she gets a Game Over for good. Meanwhile, Eric has been super upset with Izzy since she’s been keeping secrets and bailing on their plans. Can Izzy survive Dungeon City and save their friendship?..
And finally, for our oldest children, we have Skywake: Invasion by Jamie Russell, an exciting and original debut sci-fi adventure trilogy for the gaming generation, from a screenwriter, film critic and gamer.
Fifteen-year-old girl gamer Casey Henderson is obsessed with smash-hit game SkyWake – and she’s good at it, too. Little does she realize it’s actually an alien training tool created by an evil extra-terrestrial race. When the aliens swoop down on a national gaming tournament, Casey and her teammates discover they’re abducting the best gamers to fight in a distant alien war across the galaxy. And they’ve got her brother. Casey’s gaming skills are her best hope of stopping the aliens – but first she and her online teammates must learn to work together in real life…