Level Up

Level Up

Level Up
Tom Nicoll

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781788950718

Videogame-obsessed Flo gets more than she bargained for when she finds herself INSIDE her favourite game. Turns out, virtual reality isn't as much fun when it's not so virtual. When Flo's engineer mum creates a device that will make her image appear in her videogames, Flo can't wait to use it! Ignoring her mum's warnings that it's not ready, Flo accidentally transports herself into the game, along with her not-so-keen-on-videogames-and-wishing-he'd-stayed-home best friend Max. Immersed in the world of Star Smasher, they not only have to face armies of soldiers, but also the very real possibility that there may not be a way out... 'The fast paced action and likeable characters ensure that LEVEL UP has the potential to be a 'hook book' for many young readers.' - Reading Zone From the author of award-winning BOYBAND OF THE APOCALYPSE comes a laugh-out-loud adventure with a technological twist, perfect for fans of I SWAPPED MY BROTHER ON THE INTERNET, David Baddiel and Minecraft.

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Reviews

Level Up5/5

Level Up

Tom Nicoll

Review

Looking for a book to entice a reluctant reader or a young reader who has yet to gain the confidence or stamina to challenge 'real books' independently, then this is the book for you.

Level Up has been selected for the Reading Agency Summer Reading Challenge 2019 and after reading it, it is clear why. Who could not love this book?

When the book's lead character, Flo, a strong minded, ace video game playing, young girl and her side kick, puzzle-solving, best friend Max meddle with an engineering project that Flo's Mum has been working on, virtual reality becomes reality! Flo and Max suddenly find themselves part of Flo's favourite video game, Star Smasher; facing armies of Space Soldiers, fighting tank battles and flying spaceships, while trying to dodge the lasers and missiles being launched by other Star Smasher players.

Flo and Max quickly realise that if they are to have any chance of ever getting home they need to complete the game by finding the Emporor's personal transport ship, the Phoenix, and destroying the Resurrection Gem. However, nothing is ever that simple and after being captured by the Emperor's hapless son Gary, Flo and Max then find themselves up against hacker Rhett Hodges who is prepared to stop at nothing to get the Gem for himself. Help to outplay this cheat comes from a most surprising, less competent player, and together they come up with a way to stop Rhett and his unscrupulous play and hopefully get home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly as the lead techie-type characters are female, as is one of the senior Space Soldiers, Captain Moretta. So although the action in Level Up is focused on tank and spaceship battles there is no way anyone can possibly suggest this book is at all sexist or written 'only for boys'! This is a book to be enjoyed by all.

The fast paced action and likeable characters ensure that Level Up has the potential to be a 'hook book' for many young readers. A chapter book in every sense of the word, effectively 'softened' by some great illustrations by Anjan Sarkar and the use of highlighted Video Game Tips for those of us less familiar with video game play.

Aimed at lower Key Stage 2, 8+ years, this book would be a great early independent read; the majority of the text is well within their grasp, the story is easy to follow and interesting, and, as a Primary School teacher, it's great to see some quality vocabulary included, too.

160 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher

Reviewed by: Sam Phillips