Last Gamer StandingNew Books, Sci-Fi
Ready Player One meets the action of battle royale video games in this middle-grade sci-fi perfect for fans of Fortnite. To twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng, gaming is everything, so she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to attend a gaming summer camp courtesy of Dayhold – the world’s biggest VR battle royale game. Reyna is an up-and-coming junior amateur gamer but despite her rising popularity and skills online, no one knows that behind her male avatar is a twelve-year-old Chinese American girl.
Gaming is still a boys’ club and to protect her true identity against trolls and their harassment, she plays as the mysterious TheRuiNar. When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament, she knows she’s got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. It’s a chance to make a step forward towards her professional esports dreams and to help her family with the costs of her mother’s hospital bills.
But when she’s blackmailed and her identity is threatened to be revealed by an anonymous troll, Reyna has to confront the toxic gaming community head-on. With her dreams and the cash prize on the line, it’s game on! Gaming has never been more popular with the tournament in the book reflecting real tournaments such as the Fortnite World Cup Fantastic representation of a Chinese-American character from an own voices author Exhilirating, heartracing experience – Reyna’s perspective lets you feel like you’re playing the game yourself! REVIEWS OF LAST GAMER STANDING Emotional depth and nuanced representation level up this action-packed, futuristic page-turner. – Kirkus Reviews Combining ruthless online rivalry and real-life dilemmas, Zhao (How We Fall Apart) pushes her inspirational heroine to the limit in the pursuit of success, validation, and financial security.
An insular-feeling first-person narration underlines how Reyna’s intense focus in the high-pressure environment can leave her feeling isolated. – Publishers Weekly A fantastic and relevant addition to children’s literature, in a world where e-sports is just as popular as traditional sports, younger readers and gamers everywhere will love this gem of a book. – The Quiet Pond