Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Gamer Squad Books 1 & 2

The publisher sent me these books to review but I'm glad they did because I might not have picked them up otherwise. Yes, in many ways I might be considered a geek. I love Star Wars and Star Trek and all things tech and sci fi and fantasy. But I don't necessarily love gaming. I think it has to do with my lack of a sense of direction. Truly. I can get lost in my own backyard. The times I've tried to play Minecraft or SW The Old Republic or even Cars Driven to Win my little nephew wanted me to race with him ... I turn around and walk into walls or drive into walls constantly. Can't find my way around the virtual world and never tried the augmented reality world. When there were rumors of a Harry Potter version of a P.Go type game I was ready to get lost as I went "hunting" but that never ended up happening, now, did it. BUMMER.

Puzzle games, maybe. But any other type of video game not so much. So gaming books I might not have picked up without a little encouragement. And they are so fun! I think kids will really like them. The question will be ... do I now give them to a niece or nephew? Or a colleague for their classroom? Or a student?

Book one brings monsters to real life and book two brings aliens to planet earth.

I thought the discussions of coding in book two were actually a nice addition. There ARE kids who know an awful lot about all the coding languages!

I mean, grand classical literature they are not. No huge metaphors for life or beautiful turns of phrase. But you'll laugh. You might bite your nails a couple of times when the main characters are in trouble. And for sure you will recognize student bullies and geeks and "popular" kids as well as kids just trying to navigate the late elementary/early middle school years.
I would say ... fourth or fifth grade? Up to mid-sixth grade. By seventh the books would seem a little young, I would think. A strong third grade reader, maybe, though the second book talks a lot more about "liking" each other, just as an FYI.

Who is this Veratrum Games Corp that keeps releasing these popular pastimes that end up causing so much trouble? That's what I'd like to know. And the teaser for book three's "big baddie" had me hooked.

The author, Kim Harrington, has written several other YA novels and another middle grade series.

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