Posts tagged ‘video games’

END OF THE LINE OR NEW BEGINNING?

Diary of an Ender Dragon

Written by Aurora Lee

 

This beginning chapter book narrates the adventures of Ender Dragon, who has been appointed by the ruler Notch to guard the End dimension in the Minecraft game. His life is usually boring, but one day a human named Steve arrives with his sword. After Ender is wounded, he strikes a bargain with Steve. Ender will show Steve the way to the portal which leads to the outside portal. Ender and Steve are about to embark on an adventure that neither of them will forget.Ender details their adventures in a diary that takes place over the course of a week’s time. Both discover parts of themselves as their lives are changed forever.

Fans of Minecraft will enjoy the book, but the book does not focus on the game, but rather the interaction of human and dragon personalities and capabilities. At less than fifty pages, the book is an easy read for beginning readers. Because the chapters are short, it could also be used as a read aloud. Recommended especially for readers in the seven to ten age group.

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PULLING THE PLUG

Hubert in Heaven: A high-tech angel gets his wings

Written by Barbara Roman

Hubert is a hologram in a video game being shot toward the moon. He misses the mark and finds himself in heaven instead. The Grand Master of the Transition works with newly arrived angels, assigning them tasks to achieve before earning their wings. Hubert depends on his computer. He finds himself a failure painting rainbows because he enhances the colors. The Grand Master patiently assigns Hubert a new task, that of choir director, but computer generated music from earth does not cut it in heaven. Hubert is given another job, the very important one of shining up the stars and preparing the Star of Bethlehem for Christmas. This results in the greatest failure of all. Will Hubert ever find his unique talent? Can he learn to fit in with the human inhabitants of heaven?

This book is a quick read. There are a few illustrations to assist younger children in following the tale and its lessons, but the story is more suited to middle grade readers. It serves as a reminder that each person possesses unique talents, if he is willing to work hard to develop them. The author reminds readers of what can be accomplished without computers; sometimes pulling the plug is not a bad idea.

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REALITY CHECK

Dreasmscape: Saving Alex

Written by Kirstin Pulioff

Dreamscape,pic

An intriguing young adult novel that combines elements of fantasy, adventure, coming of age, romance and suspense. I was drawn to the book by the image on the cover; the eyes invite you to investigate further.

As the story opens, sixteen year old Alexis is distraught over the fact that not only is her family moving away, but her mother has just informed her that the move has been pushed up to this weekend. The teen’s best friend, Natalie has come over for a sleep-over and is enlisted to help her pack. I must admit that in the beginning of the story I thought Alexis a spoiled brat: Natalie seemed so much more centered. After packing many boxes, the teens decide to play a video game that they used to love. This is where the action begins.

Natalie falls asleep, but Alexis is somehow transported into the adventure game that she used to know by heart. Once inside, she is confused because she cannot differentiate between reality and the game. Suddenly she is called upon to be the heroine who will rescue the queen. Alexis discovers that appearances are not always what they seem. She learns that life is an adventure that we live everyday: sometimes we play a part that can be altered, but that is not always the case. During Alexis’ time in the game, she learns a lot about character, commitment and relationships.

The characters are well-developed; they evolve as the plot unfurls. I would like to know more about what the future holds for Alexis. Perhaps a sequel? Highly recommended for adults and young adults twelve and up who enjoy adventures with suspense and a touch of romance.

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