When Anda begins playing Coarsegold, an online role-playing game, she enjoys taking on missions for money. But an interaction with a young Chinese player makes her realize the real-world implications of her online fantasy world. In Real Life is a winning combination of thought-provoking story and phenomenal art. As soon as I finished, I began rereading! — Marika McCoola
From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang comes a New York Times-bestselling graphic novel that takes a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.
A lovely graphic novel for gamer girls of all ages. Felicia Day
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.
But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmera poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake.
In Real Life is a touching and morally complex tale for young adults.
This title has common Core connections.
Praise for In Real Life:
Ultimately, Doctorow and Wang want us to consider what it means to be part of groups that hate other groups, and how technology and persistence can help us overcome such barriers. . . . In Real Life is a powerful narrative. The New York Times Book Review
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. Common Sense Media
Smart and funny. Slate
Online gaming and real life collide when a teen discovers the hidden economies and injustices that hide among seemingly innocent pixels . . . Through Wong's captivating illustrations and Doctorow's heady prose, readers are left with a story that's both wholly satisfying as a work of fiction and series food for thought about the real-life ramifications of playing in an intangible world. Thought-provoking, as always from Doctorow. Kirkus Reviews
The combination of girls-only gaming; gorgeous, stylized artwork; and a meaningful, sophisticated message about online gaming makes this a surefire hit for readers everywhere, especially girls. Booklist, starred review
Stunning artwork . . . An educational introduction offers further insight into gaming and the economies and political implications behind them. The Bulletin
The illustrations of the game are vibrant and dynamic . . . The subject matter will have a built-in audience, and the appealing artwork will move this off the shelves. School Library Journal
Characters come to life through Wang's (Koko Be Good) fluid forms and emotive faces, and her adroit shift in colors as the story moves between the physical and gaming worlds is subtle and effective. Publishers Weekly