Doctorow, Cory. In Real Life. Illustrated by Jen Wang. :01 First Second, 2014 (Square Fish rereleasing 2018). 175 pages. 2014 PLB $22.96, ISBN 978-1-48984-753-9; 2018 PLB $17.66, ISBN978-1-54901-903-6; 2018 TR $11.09; ISBN 978-1-25014-428-7
TL;DR: Do I recommend this book? Yes!!
Genre: Realistic Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Part of a series? No.
When a visiting speaker informs the class about Coarsegold Online, a massively-multiplayer role playing game, Anda gets her parents’ permission and begins to play. She loves the game, her guild, and her missions. Soon, however, she meets a player who is a poor kid in China. This other kid works to harvest gold in the game that players can pay to access. Gold farming is against the rules in the game, but is everything as black and white as Anda previously believed? Can online games have real life repercussions?
This story goes by quickly but is a really gripping one. Wang’s art keeps us flowing from real life to game and back. Anda reads as a real kid — she makes choices that aren’t the best, but she tries to do better. I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely hand it to my students who are interested in MMORPGs.
Grade Level: YA