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In Real Life
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that In Real Life, written by Cory Doctorow and illustrated by Jen Wang, is a graphic novel about a teen girl gamer who learns lessons about working conditions in other parts of the world. It shows both the positive and negative aspects of online gaming and demonstrates that girls can be skilled and empathetic players. The language is generally mild (a few instances each of "hell," "dammit," "bitch," and "ass") and there's no sexual content or drugs and alcohol mentioned. Some scenes involve online violence with swords, rockets, and other weapons, but the action is clearly fantastic and unlikely to disturb most readers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
High school student Anda loves to play the video game Coarsegold Online and is thrilled to be recruited for an elite band of female online warriors. But when she meets a young Chinese "gold farmer" who plays under harsh conditions for wealthier clients, she realizes that what happens in Coarsegold online can have serious real-world consequences.
Is it any good?
IN REAL LIFE is an exciting and heartfelt exploration of video-gaming and global economics that features a capable and caring protagonist. Both Anda and her online avatar are depicted as smart, competent, and ultimately kind. Jen Wang's dynamic layouts clearly convey the story and give momentum to the action scenes. Doctorow's plot emphasizes that collective action can lead to better working conditions and that the Internet can be a powerful tool for good.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: Cory Doctorow
- Illustrator: Jen Wang
- Genre: Technology
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: First Second
- Publication date: October 14, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.