I received a complimentary copy of Invasion of the Overworld: A Minecraft Novel. My opinions are my own.
My son is all about Minecraft these days. Has been ever since I bought him the game for the PC back at Christmas 2012. For his birthday in June, he got Minecraft for XBOX360 and for his brand new tablet. So basically, he has it on every single platform that he owns. He’s so into that we spent three hours making our own Minecraft foam sword. Obviously, when we were given the chance to read Invasion of the Overworld: A Minecraft Novel, we said yes.
I knew Jake would love the story. I also figured it would give me a better idea of Minecraft in general. While I’ve watched Jake play and spent hours trying to figure out how to install mods (only to have an update wipe out all my hard work), I really can’t say I’ve spend much time actually figuring out the game. It seems that there is an entire culture that revolves around it. My son says “butter” instead of gold. He talks about Noobs (that one I knew, I was a gamer once too!) and diamond swords. He builds like lightning! I tried to build a house once. It took me twenty minutes to make a square, then I accidentally dug myself to the center of the earth. My son, on the other hand, puts Francis Lloyd Wright to shame in under 30 seconds! Reading Invasion of the Overworld: A Minecraft Novel was definitely a fun bonding experience.
Invasion of the Overworld: A Minecraft Novel
Gameknight999 isn’t exactly a nice gamer in the beginning of the book. He seems to enjoy wreaking havoc on the Minecraft servers and destroying “Noobs.” This kid is downright mean! The thing is, he’s bullied in real life, so it seems like instead of using that to develop empathy for others, he turns into a bully in a world that he feels he can control better. It’s sad really, so as much as you want to put this kid in a time out, you kind of feel for him.
His dad is an inventor, and somehow Gameknight ends up activating an invention that creates a copy of whatever it scans, then sticks it into whatever software program is running at the time. You see where I’m going with this? Gamekight ends up in Minecraft! Only this time, he doesn’t have all those mods that allow him to instantly have the best of the best tools. Now he just has to figure out a way to survive and get home. Along the way, though, he discovers a major secret: Minecraft is real! Everything in it is real. The animals and people are all alive.
Invasion of the Overworld: A Minecraft Novel was so much fun to read with Jacob. There is plenty of adventure and excitement for both parents and kids to enjoy. For me, though, my favorite part was the time we spent bonding. When I didn’t understand something, I asked Jacob to explain it to me. When I learned about “griefing,” he told me what it meant. It opened up a conversation about respecting other people, even if they’re characters in a game. In Minecraft, aside from the NPCs (non-playing characters), every character in the game has a real person sitting behind a computer controlling it.
I think that is the biggest lesson in the book, and something too many kids forget. Mark Cheverton wrote the book after his own son’s Minecraft world was “griefed.” The story has a powerful anti-bullying message wrapped in an exciting adventure story that is sure to grab your Minecraft fan’s attention. I love that the book doesn’t talk down to kids, either. Cheverton uses language beautifully to convey his message. If you child loves Minecraft, this is a must-have book! Grab your copy on Amazon for $3.49 on Kindle or $7.99 in paperback.