A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lessons about how to build, cook, and create apply beyond the Minecraft world.
Planning, preparation, practice, patience, and perseverance are important tools for success, as are compassion and mental health management skills. Includes lessons about integrity.
Positive Role Models
The main character models planning, preparation, practice, patience, compassion, dealing with anxiety, fear and failure, and caring for the environment, managing anger, learning from mistakes.
Violence & Scariness
Mild cartoonish violence and peril fits the video game adventure.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks, is an engaging adventure story for those with at least minimal understanding of playing the Minecraft video game, and likely not interesting to anyone who doesn't know about inventory, building with blocks, creepers, and Endermen. The writing is simplistic and the storytelling not at all subtle, but there are lots of great lessons about perseverance, dealing with anxiety and fear and failure, caring for the environment, and friendships forming in unlikely places. Problem-solving is a big theme throughout, and more mature readers will be able to translate the lessons in the book to new ways to approach problems in the real world.
Is It Any Good?
The first-person perspective in this adventure is fun but reads like a person narrating every detail of their moves in a video game, and will only really make sense to someone familiar with Minecraft. Minecraft: The Island is a nonstop adventure for those who like to build and battle in the Minecraft video game, and an overly detailed, clunky read for anyone who needs to ask what a creeper is. The lessons here, though, are universal and hugely positive for all readers: planning, preparation, prioritization, practice, and perseverance are essential for success and happiness. There's a strong message to protect the environment, manage anger, learn from mistakes, and think through decisions -- all great things for readers of all ages to practice in their own lives, both onscreen and in the real world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.