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Books for Minecraft-Obsessed Kids (and Their Parents)

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If you have a kid, there’s a 70% chance there’s a Minecraft video on right now. Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in the world, and one of its biggest icons is Stampy Cat (a.k.a. Joseph Garrett), the jovial creator of a Minecraft video empire. Kids LOVE watching people play Minecraft and Stampy is one of the most viewed YouTube accounts of all time. (If you’ve ever heard an excited British man yelling “HELLO!” from your child’s room, no need to worry. They’re just watching a Stampy video.)

In January 2016, Stampy Cat released his first book — appropriately titled Stampy’s Lovely Book — which was cause for celebration for his millions of devoted fans and showed us that, even though Minecraft is all about digital worlds, the game has a growing presence in the publishing world as well. With that (and the game’s continued popularity) in mind, we put together this quick guide to the wide world of Minecraft books.

 Note to Parents: If you’re struggling to understand what a Creeper or a Ghast is, you might want to check out some of these titles too.

Books Every Minecraft Fan Needs on Their Shelf

  • Minecraft: Essential Handbook

    by Stephanie Milton, Paul Soares, and Jordan Maron

    Any kid who’s ever been to a school book fair is more than familiar with the wide range of Minecraft guidebooks available. The best (and most ubiquitous) are the Minecraft Handbooks, guides that offer wonderful introductions to the game itself and that are officially sanctioned by Mojang, the game’s publisher. There are smaller editions that focus exclusively on construction or combat, but the big Essential Handbook collects them all. Buy It

  • Minecraft: Blockopedia

    by Alex Wiltshire

    If you want to know just about EVERYTHING about the game, in exhaustive, coffee-table-book detail, you can’t pass up Minecraft: Blockopedia by Alex Wiltshire, an enormous encyclopedia of all things Mojang, which is actually designed in an unusual hexagonal format that beautifully reflects the iconic Minecraft aesthetic. Buy It

  • Build, Discover, Survive! Mastering Minecraft, Revised and Expanded

    by Michael Lummis

    While the handbooks are the only “official” publications from Mojang, there are many, many “unofficial” publications related to all things Minecraft. Gamers looking for some more advanced tips and strategies might find what they’re looking for in Build, Discover, Survive!, a guidebook that gets much, much further into the tactical weeds than the handbooks, as does The Big Book of Building: Everything MinecraftBuy It

  • Books That Tell Stories in the Minecraft World

  • Invasion of the Overworld: Book One in the Gameknight999 Series: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure

    by Mark Cheverton

    One of the cooler aspects of Minecraft is how kids have latched onto the mythology of the game. There are legends, quests, and rumors about Nether portals, zombie pigmen, and the game’s unofficial boogeyman, Herobrine. Any kid that constantly regales you with tales of their Minecraft adventures will appreciate Invasion of the Overworld, a work of fan-fiction — all about a gamer transported into the Minecraft world — that became so popular it spawned a New York Timesbestselling series. Buy It

  • Diary of a Minecraft Zombie

    by Herobrine Books

    The body of “unofficial” fictional Minecraft stories is growing every day, but there are a few clear favorites online. One that should appeal to any Minecraft junkie with a sense of humor and an appreciation of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books is the hilariously titled Diary of a Minecraft ZombieBuy It

  • Books That Bring Minecraft Into the Real World

  • Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game That Changed Everything

    by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson

    If you’re looking for a way to connect your child’s passion for Minecraft to the “real world,” you might want to introduce them to this engaging true story all about the creation of their favorite game. Who knows? Maybe hearing about how indie developer Markus Persson turned his homemade game into a global phenomenon might inspire them to create their own legendary gaming empire one day. Buy It

  • Amazing Minecraft Activity Book

    by Gameplay Publishing

    Or, if you want your kid to do more with their hands than work a controller, there’s always the Amazing Minecraft Activity Book, which should keep them occupied for hours. Buy It

Minecraft: The Survivors’ Book of Secrets

by Stephanie Milton

Have you ever heard of the Survivors? They’re a secret group of Minecraft experts who have managed to survive the game since the days of Alpha, and The Survivors’ Book of Secrets is their collective knowledge on how to play on Survival mode. With tips on how to set up a solid base and successfully defeat a crazy mob, this pocket-sized survival guide is a great gift for kids just getting into the game. It may just save their (Minecraft) life!

Minecraft: Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress

by Craig Jelley

Now any kid can be king of the castle! This step-by-step guide helps players design and build their own fortress, including everything from the turrets and throne rooms all the way down to the dungeons. The “exploded” diagrams show readers how the blocks fit together, as well as where they go and in what order. The book also offers ideas on how to customize your fortress, making it great for children who love to build but struggle to come up with their own ideas from scratch. Plus, fun facts about medieval times give this read an educational twist!

Non-Minecraft Books Minecraft Fans Will Love

  • Building Big

    by David Macaulay

    But what if you’re sick of Minecraft? What if you’re a parent who is desperate to introduce your child to some book, ANY book that doesn’t involve Pickaxes or Creepers?

    One of the easiest starting points may be the works of David Macaulay. The MacArthur genius is probably best known as the creator of the Way Things Work books. Macaulay’s visually compelling nonfiction works do a breathtaking job of explaining and celebrating creativity, architecture, engineering — all essential components of Minecraft. I can’t imagine that any true Minecraft devotee wouldn’t adore Macaulay’s Building Big, a celebration of what it takes to create really, really massive structures. Buy It

  • Iggy Peck, Architect

    by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

    If you’re looking for something more narrative, younger Minecraft fans will find a kindred spirit in the title character of this beautiful picture book, a young boy who refuses to let his strident teacher quash his love for all things architectural. (Beaty and Roberts followed it up with the similarly wonderful Rosie Revere, Engineer.) Buy It

  • The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other)

    by Geoff Rodkey

    Middle-grade readers will definitely understand the anxieties behind this volume of the popular Tapper Twins series, in which a conflict between tween siblings Claudia and Reese extends into the realm of gaming, when Claudia decides to mess with Reese’s digital kingdom in MetaWorld, an obvious Minecraft parallel. (Not cool, Claudia. Not cool). Buy It

  • In Real Life

    by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang

    Teen Minecraft enthusiasts will find a lot to identify with in this captivating graphic novel, a story that follows teenaged Anda as she discovers a lot about herself, different cultures, economic inequalities, and the awkward realities of life via the time she spends in her cherished massively-multiplayer role playing game. 

Brightly is a website dedicated to fostering a love of reading in kids. Be sure to check-out their holiday recommendations for the book lover on your Christmas list.

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