In Real Life

Author(s): Cory Doctorow

Graphic Novels (Comics)

Anda loves Coarsegold Online. The massively multiplayer role-playing game is a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, and a hero. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer - a poor Chinese kid whose job is to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money. 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.

In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.


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From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang comes a New York Times-bestselling graphic novel that takes a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

This artful graphic novel (with a subtle feminist punch) depicts protagonist Anda's double life as a quiet highschool student countered by her life as a superpowered virtual reality queen in an online multiplayer game. Looks at the hidden powers of the internet as a political tool in a surpringly positive way, but not without highlighting the risks of both reality and its virtual counterpart. Highly recommended for both boys and girls aged eleven plus. It's both wonderfully entertaining, with some tender honest moments. Think 'Ready player one' aimed at younger readers and with a much more positive twist on things. A Staff Pick at the Dorothy Butler Children's bookshop. 


"Stunning artwork . . . An educational introduction offers further infight into gaming and the economies and political implications behind them." --BCCB

"The combination of girls-only gaming; gorgeous, stylized artwork; and a meaningful, sophisticated message about online gaming makes this a surefire hit for readers everywhere, especially girls." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"The illustrations of the game are vibrant and dynamic . . . The subject matter will have a built-in audience, and the appealing artwork will move this off the shelves." --School Library Journal

"Online gaming and real life collide when a teen discovers the hidden economies and injustices that hide among seemingly innocent pixels . . . Through Wong's captivating illustrations and Doctorow's heady prose, readers are left with a story that's both wholly satisfying as a work of fiction and series food for thought about the real-life ramifications of playing in an intangible world. Thought-provoking, as always from Doctorow." --Kirkus Reviews

"A lovely graphic novel for gamer girls of all ages." --Felicia Day

"Characters come to life through Wang's (Koko Be Good) fluid forms and emotive faces, and her adroit shift in colors as the story moves between the physical and gaming worlds is subtle and effective." --Publishers Weekly

Cory Doctorow is a co-editor of Boing Boing and a columnist for multiple publications including the Guardian, Locus, and Publishers Weekly. He was named one of the Web's twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller, and his recent novels include Information Doesn't Want to Be Free (McSweeney's). He lives in London with his wife and daughter. In Real Life is his first graphic novel.

Jen Wang is an cartoonist and illustrator currently living in Los Angeles. Her works have appeared in the Adventure Time comics and LA Magazine. Her graphic novel Koko Be Good was published by First Second. In Real Life is her second book.

General Fields

  • : 9781250144287
  • : Square Fish
  • : Square Fish
  • : 0.432
  • : February 2018
  • : 216mm X 152mm
  • : United States
  • : March 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Cory Doctorow
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : Jen Wang
  • : English
  • : 741.5/973
  • : 208
  • : Illustrations, unspecified