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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
In Real Life

In Real Life

written by Cory Doctorow; Illustrations by Jen Wang

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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 farmer—a 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 … More…

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 farmer—a 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

Less…

Booklist Editors' Choice, YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, IRA Young Adult Choices, Los Angeles Times Holiday Books Guide, Boing Boing Gift Guide, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults, YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Reviews from Goodreads

written by Cory Doctorow; Illustrations by Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow is a co-editor of Boing Boing and a columnist for multiple publications including the Guardian, Locus, and Publishers Weekly. He was named one of the Web's twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller, and his recent novels include Information Doesn't Want to Be Free (McSweeney's). He lives in London with his wife and daughter. In Real Life is his first graphic novel.

Jen Wang is an cartoonist and illustrator currently living in Los Angeles. Her works have appeared in the Adventure Time comics and LA Magazine. Her graphic novel Koko Be Good was published by First Second. In Real Life is her second book.

image of Cory Doctorowo
Courtesy of the author
image of Jen Wango
Ye Rin Mok

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