Level Up: Pairing Video Games with Children’s and YA Books (The Legend of Zelda)

21 Jul

Level Up- Video Game Book ListsEach Thursday this summer, I’ll be posting a video game and corresponding book list. This is just a fun, personal project that was actually the brainchild of my boyfriend who thought that A) it sounded awesome and B) that there are a lot of parents who would love to have some resources for those kids who would rather be in front of a screen than a book. I’m hoping these titles will appeal to both boys and girls who love gaming and who do love storytelling; they just need the right book to make them readers. Each list will include the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating for the game. I know that every family is different, but want to make sure this information is provided as I’ll be offering lists for games for younger kids as well as teens.


The Legend of Zelda

SI_Hub_Zelda_PortalThe Legend of Zelda is a high-fantasy, action-adventure videogame series where Link is often charged with saving Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule.  The booklist includes high-fantasy, adventure titles for an older, middle grade audience or can be read aloud to younger fans of the game.

  1. Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl series) by Eoin Colfer

12-year-old Artemis Fowl is a criminal mastermind and his newest plan is to rid the fairy-folk from their pot of gold, not by looking for the end of the rainbow, but by ransoming.  Artemis’ mistake is in kidnapping Captain Holly Short and when Commander Root and a host of trolls, dwarfs, and fairies show-up to rescue her, Artemis may be in over his head.

Echo by  Pam Muñoz Ryan

A young boy becomes lost in the woods and escapes with the help of three sisters imprisoned by a witch’s curse.  He promises to help them break the curse by passing along a harmonica when the time is right.  The story then crosses centuries and is interwoven into three children’s lives as the harmonica helps them in their time of need and eventually bringing everyone together at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  With a mixture of folktales and historical fiction this story show just how truly magical music can be.

Fablehaven (Fablehaven series) by Brandon Mull

Kendra and Seth have no idea that on their grandparents’ estate a sanctuary for magical creatures can be found.  It’s a beautiful and magical place, but evil is looming and it is up to Kendra and Seth to save Fablehaven and the creatures that live there.  A great story to read aloud with the whole family!

Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom series) by Garth Nix

After receiving a real key in a dream, strange things begin happening in Arthur’s town and now, Arthur must keep the key safe as he ventures into a house only he can see.  Filled with mystery and magic, Arthur must go on a quest and prove himself the hero he was meant to be in this series for middle grade readers.

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

When Rump discovers he can spin straw into gold, he disregards his friend Little Red Riding Hood’s advice and spins himself deeper and deeper into a curse.  To break the spell, Rump must go on a quest fighting pixies, trolls, poisonous apples and an evil Queen.  But with courage and friendship and a lot of laughs, Rump might break the curse after all!  A fun story for older elementary and middle school readers alike.

Video Game Booklists:

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