Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Minecraft Books for Kids : Inspiring Reluctant Readers

Minecraft has truly taken the world by storm, and there's no better way to inspire young readers than with subjects they love. But if you search any book site for Minecraft fiction, your choices are a bit overwhelming! So I've narrowed down some of the best Minecraft series we've read so far (and believe me, we've read many over here). I've also included Amazon affiliate links throughout, in case you'd like to purchase some of them yourself (you can read about my affiliate connection on my disclosure page). If you like this post, you can also read my other reviews,  More Minecraft Books for Kids: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie and Minecraft Comics for Kids.


The Unoffical Gamer's Adventure Series by Winter Morgan

Perhaps Mojang missed the boat a bit by not jumping on the book marketing bandwagon.  As soon as The Jersey Momma's Boy developed an interest in Minecraft, I started searching for books he might like, to help balance out the game playing.  We did find a fabulous four book series published by Scholastic (see more on that below) but there were no story books, puzzle books, or even coloring books to find (not 'official' ones, anyway). That's where these 'unoffical' books come in.  The word unofficial means they are not endorsed by Mojang, Minecraft, or any of the entities that own the Minecraft name.  Which made me think their quality might be a little iffy.  But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the Winter Morgan series!

Book One in the Gamer's Adventure Series

Who is this Book Series For?

Winter Morgan's series is a set of chapter books for young readers (ranging in age, but I would say ages 6 and up).  My son is a beginning chapter book reader, but we opted to share these as a read-aloud (meaning, I read them to him so he can enjoy them more).  There are no pictures in the book, but the chapters are short and we can read them at bed time fairly quickly.

A view of one of the chapters of Winter Morgan's book.

Is the Book Series Scary or Violent?

I was concerned that the book would be full of violence or too scary for my little one.  Not the case either. The stories we have read so far seem to center on friendship, while sticking to the general idea of the gameplay (in survival mode).  My son seemed to love that it applied all of the characteristics of the game. You'll find the same 'mobs' (or bad guys), the same biomes, worlds, tools and game concepts. The storylines were cute, and the book itself is fairly well written (Winter Morgan is apparently the pen name of a legitimate author of adult and children's literature).  If your child is not afraid of the monsters in the actual game itself, then they most likely won't be afraid of the ones mentioned here either.

Book 2 in the Gamer's Adventire Series.  A Griefer!

Will My Child Like This Book Series?

The enthusiasm my son has for this book is truly inspiring.  I can honestly tell you that he wanted to read it as soon as I bought it.  He put his pajamas on and ran up to bed without protesting, knowing we were going to read another chapter.  He did not play Minecraft at all this morning, but instead asked to read another chapter of the book.  He even asked me to read it in the car in the drop off line at school!  Truth!!  I can't guarantee this will be the case with every Minecraft reader out there, but hey, it sure is worth a shot!

Small size chapter books are not so intimidating for early readers!
Book 5 in Winter Morgan's series.  Photo from Amazon.com

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie series by Zack Zombie 

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie is by far our favorite Minecraft book series. You can read my detailed review of the entire series here. This fan fiction is such a favorite that it was even nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award in 2016! We were also thrilled to see it appear in the Scholastic Book Fair that visited The Jersey Momma's Boy's school last Fall. 


Who is This Book Series For?

I would say this book series is good for ages 9 and up, primarily because it's written from the point of view of a preteen zombie boy. He does talk about things like girl zombies and puberty, which most little kids might not understand. But we did start reading this series to The Jersey Momma's Boy when he was about 7 and he loved it. If something came up that I thought he wouldn't understand, we just kind of skipped over it.


Is This Book Series Scary or Violent?

No way! Zombie is a lovable kid and so are his friends. The scariest things you'll see here are school bullies (and Zombie handles those pretty well, believe me).

Will My Child Like This Book Series?

I haven't met a Minecraft loving kid yet who didn't like this series. It has all of the elements that kids love- short chapters, small pictures scattered throughout, and funny storylines. The characters are lovable and the Minecraft theme runs strong throughout. If your child really loves it, then check out the Minecraft Comic Book Series or the Herobrine books, also written by the same author.


The GameKnight999 Minecraft Series by Mark Cheverton

Another 'unofficial' Minecraft series out there for young readers is the GameKnight999 series by Mark Cheverton.  Mark has a website where you can read all about his books and see what's coming up next. Mark is a Minecraft fan himself and his website is full of fun links and places where you can share. Be sure to check it out!

Books in the Gameknight999 Series.  My carpet looks so clean under there!

Who is this Book Series For?

The Gameknight999 series is for kids ages 9 and up, mostly because there is a lot more reading material.   They are a little thicker than the Winter Morgan series, with a lot more words per page.  No pictures (hint, authors, I swear these books would be even better if you could add an illustration or two!  Just sayin'). The storylines are a little more complex, dealing with a character that gets 'sucked into' the game of Minecraft and the surprises he finds there.  The main character in this series also starts out as a Griefer (someone who deliberately ruins gameplay for others by stealing and destroying).

Some of the language in this series is for older kids, too, since the characters use terms like 'you suck' and some texting lingo like LOL that some younger kids might not understand yet.  I personally feel that this book is best for kids ages 10 and up, and mostly as an independent read, not as a read aloud.

The GameKnight999 Series are chapter books for ages 9 and up

Is This Book Series Scary or Violent?

Just like the other series, if your child isn't frightened by the monsters in Minecraft, then they should be able to handle the ones in the book.  Nothing in the story is overly terrifying, but there is your usual shooting with arrows and general monster slaying.  This author does speak a lot about the physical pain that the creatures cause the character as he's fighting, so that could be upsetting to some readers.  And the author does go into extreme detail about how the monsters fight with "razor sharp claws" and eyes black with hatred and death, which some kids might find too intense.  Even his discussions about the NPC villagers "screaming in pain and agony" when the zombies attack can be too much for some Minecraft fans.  When in doubt, skim the book or read it first yourself to be sure it's right for your child.

Book Two of the Herobrine Mystery series by Mark Cheverton.  Photo from Amazon.com.

Scholastic's Minecraft Essential Handbooks

Scholastic, Inc, which has long been a friend to me as both a teacher and a mom, has published a series of four books, and unlike the other series I mentioned, these are endorsed by Minecraft.  They feature full color photos and descriptions of gameplay.  All of the books we purchased were hardcovers.

There are actually four books in the series but we are missing the Combat book!

Who is this Book Series for?

This book series is for anyone who enjoys Minecraft.  Since they are handbooks and mostly deal with game strategies, anyone can follow them.

Inside the Minecraft Redstone Handbook by Scholastic

Is This Book Series Scary or Violent?

Nope, not at all.  These books are strategy guides with occasional gameplay stories mixed in, but nothing like the fictional stories of the previously mentioned series above.

Official Minecraft Books

Mojang did finally release a few 'official' series books, but I saved them for last because they are not really chapter books or fictional books. One is a book that teaches you how to design a medieval fortress...

photo from Amazon.com

The other is a The Survivor's Book of Secrets, a basic guide to the world of Minecraft, written from a fictional 'survivor's' perspective. I bought this book for The Jersey Momma's Boy and he has yet to read it. I don't know why. He's not crazy about the handbook-type books, and maybe since this wasn't a fictional chapter book, he had no interest in it.


I think it goes without saying that these are not scary or violent, since they are handbooks. They are also for any age Minecraft player, although younger players might find the guidebooks difficult to comprehend.

Other Minecraft Handbooks

The handbooks are fun but they don't promote reading the same way that the chapter books do, in my opinion.  My son can scroll through the handbooks for ideas and strategies, but he doesn't sit engaged in a story and show a real love of reading the way he does with the Winter Morgan series. Yesterday my son actually told me he didn't mind that there were no pictures. 'I make up the pictures in my head,' he explained. For a mom and former teacher, this almost made me cry tears of joy!

Some of our other favorite Minecraft construction and strategy books

Don't forget to check out my post about More Minecraft Books for Kids, or our fun art project, How to Make Minecraft Shrinky Dinks.

You can purchase any of these books through my Amazon Affiliate links below:



8 comments:

  1. This is great. I'm pinning for future gift ideas! My son would love a lot of these (and actually read them!)

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    1. Awesome! I hope he enjoys reading some of them, Krystal!

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  2. I know so many boys who love MineCraft far more than they like reading so this is an awesome way to get the excited about reading.

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  3. I LOVE this post! I have also looked for minecraft books to no avail... we have the scholastic series which my son LOVES. I have seen the Minecraft Zombie series but I wasn't sure if they would be appropriate for my son. Now I can grab him a few, thank you for this post!!

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    1. Glad to hear it, WMM! I hope he enjoys them!!

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  4. We're not into video games at our house yet, but love the idea of inspiring reading with a favourite topic!

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