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In Real Life

Written by: Cory Doctorow
Illustrated by: Jen Wang
Published by: First Second

Description from Macmillan website:
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.

Genre: Slice of Life
Themes: Bullying
Age Range: 9+


  • Deals with online bullying

Find it here:
Your local comic shop

If you like this, try:
Prince and the Dressmaker

Alison’s Thoughts:
My eyes were drawn in by the cover art (I always have to point out the tiger on the back) and the interior is just as beautiful by Jen Wang. This is an interesting story, with part of it taking place in a video game, but it has so much heart and it left me with a warm feeling. The characters learn a lot through this smaller sized graphic novel and for young readers (and adults) I think they will progress with the characters and see situations from different angles. Plus women gamers are always a plus!

*Our mission with Pages for all Ages is to help Librarians and Teachers get comics and graphic novels to children. If you’re wondering why we include warnings and notes it’s because our experience working in a comic shop has shown us all sorts of different people. Not everyone likes the same things and some people are more sensitive to certain topics than others. Because of this, we try to include anything that could be an issue with either parents or their children. We want the right books to get to the right people!

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