What do you do when you only have one life left?
Well Izzy, in her own words, is a strong independent woman (albeit only fourteen) and certainly doesn’t need rescuing. I like to think this suggests a certain amount of autobiographical fiction from Sarah Graley, because like Izzy, she loves gaming. It’s this fact that makes you think that this graphic novel will be instantly recognisable to any young gaming fan but particularly young girls.
Its opening will certainly be something that any gamer has felt before – having to scoff down your dinner as quickly as possible so you can be excused and go back to your game. Children are bound to engage and quickly find personal responses to the themes in this book. It also follows that very popular narrative amongst children’s own writing – the idea of being sucked into a video game! There are also nods here to Terry Pratchett’s book Only You Can Save Mankind.
Izzy’s quest to save the digital world brings her into conflict with the real world where she has to juggle friendships on the outside with her newly formed friendship with the robot Rae. Her struggle between her digital life and real life is real but ultimately maybe saving the world is best done with a friend?
Graley’s illustrations are commercial, bubble gum and bright. You can see children certainly copying Graley’s style for their own comics too. There is some really great comedic timing in here too – particularly for those children who are in the know.
One of the most compelling parts of the story is the existential crisis Izzy goes through when she ‘loses a life’ in the game. This forces her to reflect on the possibilities of what a ‘game over’ could constitute and what the consequences of that would be…
Anyway, I suggest you get yourself some XP, get this book for your class and level up!
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