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Trapped in a Video Game (Book 1) (Volume 1) Hardcover – July 10, 2018
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From the Publisher
Trapped in a Video Game Series
With action packed into every page, this new book series does the impossible: it gets 8-12 year old kids to put down the controller and pick up a book!
STEM for Kids
Each novel has a More to Explore section that teaches computer programming concepts through fun activities. From binary code to algorithms, each section provides an opportunity for kids to learn the basic functions behind their favorite video games.
About the Author
Dustin Brady writes funny, action-packed books for kids. Although he regularly gets locked out of his own accounts for forgetting passwords, Dustin still remembers the Super Mario Bros. 3 Game Genie code for infinite lives. It’s SLXPLOVS. Dustin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, kids, and a small dog named Nugget.
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I really felt it was important to let you know that I'm not one to treat a self-published book as a traditionally published book because I know there is a lot of junk out there, and that I found this publisher quality.
Verdict: A good read, self-published!
My daughter already loves reading, but my son is very picky about what he wants to read, so almost any book is a gamble. He likes Judy Moody books and Stink books, but he is not interested in many of the books targeted for boys his age. My wife and I were on a mission to find a book that would stir an excitement in him the way my daughter is excited when she reads.
Trapped In A Video Game is that book. We gave it to him on his birthday. He was wary because we have given him books before and the track record is not good. I encouraged him to read just the first page and then make his judgment. I knew he would like the joke on the first page. While he was reading the first page, I left the house to run an errand. By the time I returned he was about a third of the way through the book. He loved it.
That was about two weeks ago. Since then, he has said the name of the book about fifty times and read the book about three or four times. Yep. It's one of those. One of those books he carries with him when we are on a drive or running errands around town. One of those books that he puts down somewhere and then frantically asks, "Where's Trapped In A Video Game?!?!"
Oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you that my daughter loves it, too! She has read every Harry Potter book, almost every Rick Riordan book, at least half of "Erin Hunter's" Warriors books, every Land of Stories book by Colfer, and several dozen other books. She loves this book. She and my son have had sibling fights over this book.
We just got Trapped In A Video Game 2 from Amazon yesterday. Let the fight over who reads it first begin...
This is a great book. My kids look forward to reading the rest of the series and Dustin Brady's other books and future books. Keep writing, Mr. Brady.
This is the first book in the planned five book series. Each book slips our heroes into a different perilous video game, so they work almost as standalones. But there's also an overall mystery/thriller arc, and it looks like that will get wrapped up in book five. (Each book concludes its individual story, but leaves behind a cliff hanger that leads to the next book and relates to the overall arc.)
The general idea is that an evil supervillain has an evil supervillainous plan, and our guys keep getting in his way. This time around they escape his clutches by dropping into a blocky, retro, 80's, side scrolling, island adventure game. They have to survive and then get out, while avoiding a robot assassin who has followed them into the game and then surviving the villain's attempts to erase them when they do get out.
Here's the thing. This is one of the funnest sets of heroes I've encountered in some time, and this is one of the smartest MG action/adventure tales I've read, ever. Our heroes are the quiet and shy kid, Charlie, (whose genius programmer dad is being held hostage by the villain), the sort of goofy and obtuse comic relief kid, Eric, and our first person narrator, the regular type kid, Jesse. Jesse is the heart and soul of the book, and he is an appealing mix of resourceful, antic, funny, observant, deadpan and puckish. His narrative voice, alternately dry and then manic, sells the premise and the story and keeps the reader engaged. I mean, I could totally see him being my best friend. Eric is both a bit dim and totally psyched, and so offers a nice balance to Jesse.
But above and beyond that, the book is loaded with sly humor and with inside 80's gamer jokes. For example, at one point the villain starts monologuing about his devious plan for world domination. Eric keeps egging on the villain with inane questions. Jesse keeps trying to get Eric to be quiet because absolutely everybody knows that once the villain has disclosed his plan he has to eliminate the people he just told it to. But Jesse is also torn because the plan really is sort of especially evil and Jesse is sort of curious. Now that strikes me as a pretty knowing joke on the whole structure of action/adventure thrillers, and I would expect a middle grade reader to get that joke and be pretty pleased to get that joke. That's what I mean about the book being "smart". It's entertaining but it also brings the reader into the fun of reading this kind of stuff, (without ever mocking the genre). And the whole book has that kind of generous, knowing, upbeat, Boy's Own, vibe.
So, while the premise looked a little gimmicky at the outset, it really was handled very well, and the book delivered a ripping and amusing adventure in the company of some fine heroes. A nice find.
Top international reviews
Wanted to get my son into reading books, so I thought since he like vgames I should start reading a book related to vgames.
So he loves it so far. Gonna buy the rest of the series.