10 brilliant books for children who love video games

Published on: 27 September 2022 Author: Janelle McCurdy

Mia and the Lightcasters author Janelle McCurdy has always loved video games - and they were a big influence on her book. Here, she recommends more great reads for young gamers...

Gaming was one of the main driving forces behind the creation of Mia and the Lightcasters. In my book, I wanted to capture that magic of immersing yourself in the action, heart and adventure.

Pokémon, Final Fantasy and many other games inspired Mia and the Lightcasters and I have ten FANTASTIC book recommendations for young gamers to read and enjoy.

Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston

Amari is filled with wonderful and downright epic Black girl magic. It's Men in Black meets Artemis Fowl.

At first glance, it's about a girl trying to find her missing brother, but it's so much more. There are so many twists and turns! It's action-packed and definitely not one to miss.

Read our review

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu

A breathtaking book you will not want to put down about a girl with magical hair, who is sent to a magic school in Nigeria to train and enhance her powers with other children. However, Onyeka and her friends soon find their powers put to the test.

An action-packed superhero story with so much heart and a celebration of Black hair that makes it extra special. One of my favourite books ever.

Read our review

Spirited Away: The Picture Book Special by Hayao Miyazaki

Adapted into book form from the famous Studio Ghibli movie, you can't go wrong with Spirited Away. It's a powerful journey about adventure and a girl finding an inner strength, when she is lost in a world filled with spirits, beasts, witches and more.

It's a race against time to rescue her parents who have been turned into pigs, but a mysterious boy appears to help... Another must-read!

The front covers of Amari and the Night Brothers, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun and Spirited Away: The Picture Book Special

Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

A tastefully dark book about a girl who has the ability to morph and shape shadows around her. She is accompanied everywhere by her own magical shadow partner called Dar, who has been with her since birth, and Dar will do anything to keep Emmeline safe...

Emmy Levels Up by Helen Harvey

A beautiful book that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. With a focus on bullying, friendship and of course gaming, this powerful book is a fantastic read.

Read our review

Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell

This book focuses on the trickster god, Loki of Asgard. It's full of giggles and mischievous tactics that I'm sure gamers will enjoy. If you're a fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid then this is definitely for you! Loki must learn how to deal with going to a human school, and you can only imagine how that goes!

Read our review

The front covers of Shadow Weaver, Emmy Levels Up and Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good

And then there are these manga books for the 12+ gamers out there:

Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

This is one of the first manga books I read when I was a kid. Inuyasha is a feudal tale set in Japan in a world with demons, priestesses, monks and beasts.

It centres around a girl called Kagome who lives in the present day, but one day falls into a well that takes her to feudal Japan. There she meets a half human, half dog demon called Inuyasha and her world is turned upside down when she finds herself stuck in the past!

Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo

A new manga book that is jam-packed with action you'd find in so many games. It's got spies, secret assassins, a little girl with secret psychic powers and a lot of funny moments.

It centres on Loid Forger who is a spy and must create a fake family in order to complete his mission, but it's a lot harder than he thought!

The front covers of Inuyasha, Spy x Family, One Piece and Naruto

One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

A heartwarming and at times VERY emotional action-packed adventure about creating strong friendships and chasing your dreams.

It centres on a teenager called Monkey D Luffy who wants to be the pirate king and find the legendary treasure left behind by the old king: Gol D Roger.

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

A legendary manga and anime - I'm sure many of you have heard of Naruto. It is about the world of ninjas. It's got danger, fun and special heartwarming (and heart-wrenching) moments. It's also got multiple games too!

So, naturally it had to be on the list, and I highly recommend playing the games as well, although they do contain spoilers so best to read the manga first or watch the anime!

The secret power of gaming

Finding new ways to tell stories

Emmy Levels Up author Helen Harvey explains why she wanted to challenge the assumption that 'real life' is better than our 'online life' in her story.

Choose your own adventure books

Why they they're perfect for gamers

Ian Livingstone talks about Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and why this interactive style of reading has stood the test of time and gotten kids hooked on books.

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