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Growing Reader

Tween

Books for Minecraft-Obsessed Kids (and Their Parents)

by Tom Burns

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Photo credit: Heather Perry, National Geographic/Getty Images

If you have a kid, there’s a 70% chance there’s a Minecraft video on right now. Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in the world, and one of its biggest icons is Stampy Cat (a.k.a. Joseph Garrett), the jovial creator of a Minecraft video empire. Kids LOVE watching people play Minecraft and Stampy is one of the most viewed YouTube accounts of all time. (If you’ve ever heard an excited British man yelling “HELLO!” from your child’s room, no need to worry. They’re just watching a Stampy video.)

In January 2016, Stampy Cat released his first book — appropriately titled Stampy’s Lovely Book — which was cause for celebration for his millions of devoted fans and showed us that, even though Minecraft is all about digital worlds, the game has a growing presence in the publishing world as well. This January, Stampy Cat is back with his second book, Stick with Stampy, filled with jokes, activities, and games for those who want to keep on having fun with Stampy and Minecraft. With that (and the game’s continued popularity) in mind, we put together this quick guide to the wide world of Minecraft books.

Note to Parents: If you’re struggling to understand what a Creeper or a Ghast is, you might want to check out some of these titles too.

  • Books Every Minecraft Fan Needs on Their Shelf

  • Minecraft: Guide to Exploration

    by Mojang AB

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    Any kid who’s ever been to a school book fair is more than familiar with the wide range of Minecraft guidebooks available. The best (and most ubiquitous) are the Minecraft guides that offer wonderful introductions to the game itself and that are officially sanctioned by Mojang, the game’s publisher. Guide to Exploration is one such guide to look out for — offering great tips on exploration for those new to the Minecraft world, this book is a must-read if you want to survive in the game.
    (On Sale: 5/30/17)

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  • Minecraft: The Survivors’ Book of Secrets

    by Stephanie Milton

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    Have you ever heard of the Survivors? They're a secret group of Minecraft experts who have managed to survive the game since the days of Alpha, and The Survivors' Book of Secrets is their collective knowledge on how to play on Survival mode. With tips on how to set up a solid base and successfully defeat a crazy mob, this pocket-sized survival guide is a great gift for kids just getting into the game. It may just save their (Minecraft) life!

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  • Minecraft: Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress

    by Craig Jelley

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    Now any kid can be king of the castle! This step-by-step guide helps players design and build their own fortress, including everything from the turrets and throne rooms all the way down to the dungeons. The "exploded" diagrams show readers how the blocks fit together, as well as where they go and in what order. The book also offers ideas on how to customize your fortress, making it great for children who love to build but struggle to come up with their own ideas from scratch. Plus, fun facts about medieval times give this read an educational twist!

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  • Minecraft: Blockopedia

    by Alex Wiltshire

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    If you want to know just about EVERYTHING about the game, in exhaustive, coffee-table-book detail, you can’t pass up Minecraft: Blockopedia by Alex Wiltshire, an enormous encyclopedia of all things Mojang, which is actually designed in an unusual hexagonal format that beautifully reflects the iconic Minecraft aesthetic.

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  • Build, Discover, Survive! Mastering Minecraft, Revised and Expanded

    by Michael Lummis

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    While the handbooks are the only “official” publications from Mojang, there are many, many “unofficial” publications related to all things Minecraft. Gamers looking for some more advanced tips and strategies might find what they’re looking for in Build, Discover, Survive!, a guidebook that gets much, much further into the tactical weeds than the handbooks, as does The Big Book of Building: Everything Minecraft.

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  • Non-Minecraft Books Minecraft Fans Will Love

  • Building Big

    by David Macaulay

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    But what if you’re sick of Minecraft? What if you’re a parent who is desperate to introduce your child to some book, ANY book that doesn’t involve Pickaxes or Creepers?

    One of the easiest starting points may be the works of David Macaulay. The MacArthur genius is probably best known as the creator of the Way Things Work books. Macaulay’s visually compelling nonfiction works do a breathtaking job of explaining and celebrating creativity, architecture, engineering — all essential components of Minecraft. I can’t imagine that any true Minecraft devotee wouldn’t adore Macaulay’s Building Big, a celebration of what it takes to create really, really massive structures.

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  • Iggy Peck, Architect

    by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

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    If you’re looking for something more narrative, younger Minecraft fans will find a kindred spirit in the title character of this beautiful picture book, a young boy who refuses to let his strident teacher quash his love for all things architectural. (Beaty and Roberts followed it up with the similarly wonderful Rosie Revere, Engineer.)

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  • The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other)

    by Geoff Rodkey

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    Middle-grade readers will definitely understand the anxieties behind this volume of the popular Tapper Twins series, in which a conflict between tween siblings Claudia and Reese extends into the realm of gaming, when Claudia decides to mess with Reese’s digital kingdom in MetaWorld, an obvious Minecraft parallel. (Not cool, Claudia. Not cool).

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  • In Real Life

    by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang

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    Teen Minecraft enthusiasts will find a lot to identify with in this captivating graphic novel, a story that follows teenaged Anda as she discovers a lot about herself, different cultures, economic inequalities, and the awkward realities of life via the time she spends in her cherished massively-multiplayer role playing game.

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