Do you have an avid video gamer at home? You'll be able to tempt them away from the console with these books.
Whenever I’m asked to recommend books for teenage boys, I often hear a familiar story from concerned parents.
‘I just want him to turn off the video games and pick up a book!’
I normally try to smile sympathetically, but I have a confession to make: I’m a huge video game nerd, and if there’s one thing I love as much as reading, it’s sitting down for a good two-hour session of Skyrim, Fallout or Assassin’s Creed.
Still, I do understand where parents are coming from. As great as video games are for learning about exploding zombies and upping your sniper rifle proficiency, they often don’t scratch that itch for character development or engrossing story. I know things are changing in the field of story-telling in video games, but at the end of the day, the storyline of games just don’t stand up to the story in a good book.
However, if you want an avid gamer to put down the controller and pick up a book, it has to be the right kind of story, and it’s hard trying to find something for a teen boy reader, right? Actually, it’s getting easier. We at Readings are starting to notice a trend in covers that lean towards distinctly video games-esque designs. It’s come to the point where a colleague thought a new book sitting on my desk was a video game – this one:
That's I, Wolf, an action-packed werewolf tale by Matt Boyd. I love that the publishers have included a cheeky nod to their homage on the back cover:
But I, Wolf isn’t the only one to do it. See if you can pick which one is the video game and which is the book.
Of course, the cardinal rule is not to judge a book by its cover, but in some instances a little window dressing can’t hurt. All of these books are brilliant choices to give readers who might need a little enticement. They’ll find all of the same action they’ll get in video games, only with much stronger storylines and characters who aren’t just a vehicle for hacking and slashing.
If you’re desperate for the gamer in your life to pick up a book, try slipping one of these into the pile of games and watch them wolf it down!
Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult enews'. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League and Bureau of Mysteries series here.