Thursday 13 September 2018

Minecraft: The Crash by Tracey Baptiste children's fiction book review (9+)

I know you are thinking 'A Minecraft novel?' and maybe think it's just been churned out because it'll sell on the back of that, but you'd be wrong. This official Mojang book by Tracey Baptiste is a great story which is really well written and offers adventure and real life in a mix which really pulls the reader in. We want to have a happy ending and right from the start we doubt that will be possible...

The Crash refers not a computer programme, but a real car crash, which renders our main character in a full body cast immobile in hospital. Bianca has a broken body and is desperate to know what happened to Lonnie, who was driving at the time. No-one will tell her and she begins to suspect she knows why.

I enjoyed this book from the very first line. It really drew me in, I instantly cared about the characters. Throughout the story we are hopeful that Bianca will recover. We have hopes for her new hospital friends and we are concerned for Lonnie. Bianca feels all of this pressure as well as being incredibly broken. She escapes into Minecraft to ease the boredom, fill the hours and so that she doesn't have to face the real world.

This is a book for readers who are fairly confident. There aren't any illustrations and there is some fairly complicated language, more so, the storyline is mature. There is talk of lifelong illness and there is death. The children in the hospital all have to face whatever life has thrown at them, and none of them have it easy.

Flipping between reality and the Minecraft world means we have to hold information in our heads while reading which more difficult for new readers. On the other side of the coin, this is a great book for more reluctant readers who might not usually be enticed by fiction.

Fast-paced and action-packed, the main character doesn't pause for breath, so the reader hardly has chance stop naturally. You want to find out what happens next, you need to know if reaching The End will be The End, and if so, the end for who?

I actually felt the ending had less gravity than it deserved, but I'm 47 and hardened, this is a young fiction book for mature readers of 9+ and over. The Crash is an excellent book. A coming-of-age tale about facing reality and all that it brings, but with the familiarity and comfort a Minecraft setting brings. It's a great book for any youngster and if people buy it or read it because it says Minecraft on the front, they could do far, far worse.

Minecraft: The Crash: An Official Minecraft Novel is written by Tracey Baptiste and published by Penguin Books. Available now with 288 pages. Rrp £12.99 hardcover, £7.99 paperback.

We were sent our copy of Minecraft: The Crash for review. Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence if you order through my link, but you don't pay any more! It all helps keep the website running.


  1. I'm thinking my little boy would like this. Will add it to his Christmas list. Thanks lovely xx

    1. You're very welcome! It is a good crossover to grown up books really, it's an excellent mix of Minecraft and serious backstory.

  2. My girls have both read this book and they loved it....It really is a fab book x

    1. It is a good one - I think my youngest will really enjoy it, but he's still not brave enough to go for many big novels. He has taken it into his room though, so we shall see..

  3. personally I did not like this book much many times it makes mistakes about minecraft logic and is really confusing at times.

    1. There are a few times when the gameplay or setting doesn't quite work, but I didn't feel I was expert enough at Minecraft to really judge it like that. I've played a lot of games, but I've only really played Minecraft as a beginner. I think possibly the author is about as good as I am, or wanted to show the confusion that the characters are feeling - they are ill and in hospital, so the world can seem a bit crazy.
      As a book though, I thought it was a good read - but if I was as good at Minecraft as my sons, or you, I think it would annoy me too. I like things to be perfect :)


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