Minecraft: The Shipwreck
Jake isn’t sure he should count the two kids he meets at the apartment’s community center as friends, though. Tank Vuong is a large and intimidating boy who hangs with a tough crowd, and Emily Quesada is a fashionista who’s quick with a sarcastic remark. But when he discovers an old computer lab in a forgotten corner of the community center, with a strange Minecraft server containing cryptic riddles, he realizes he's going to need help cracking the code—because at the end of the summer, the community center will be demolished, and all hope of solving the mystery will go with it. Following the hints left by an enigmatic figure known as The Wizard, the trio journeys into the dangerous depths of the ocean, where uncanny creatures lurk and untold treasure awaits. . . .
There are plenty of details about Minecraft, but I have to admit that I skimmed most of those! Not only do the characters have the mystery to solve, but they struggle with reaching higher levels of the game. They find villages that are interesting, talk about playing online and on their own, get help from other players but struggle with someone in the game trying to sabotage, and talk about creepers, mining, and other things that I found completely incomprehensible. This will no doubt be the big draw for readers who actually have played and understand the game.
I did appreciate that the characters were all entering high school. More middle grade novels need to have older characters.
If this book had NOT had the Minecraft brand and storyline, teachers and librarians would have loved it for its diversity and social themes. The Shipwreck is definitely a whole grain, fiber added Pop Tart of a book!