Romans

Computers, Coding & Gaming

We've put together a list of books for young readers interested in computers and video games.

Ant Clancy: Games Detective

Ruth Morgan

Designed to appeal to children with a love of gaming, Ant Clancy: Games Detective is a fast-paced adventure story that could be enjoyed by any reader who likes an action-packed mystery story. Ant is the only person in Westford Abbey who can’t get into playing Ray-Chay, the new virtual reality game that everyone else is obsessed with. Soon something goes very wrong with the game, which somehow spills over into real life, and Ant is the person who will get to the bottom of what’s happening and try to put things right. As the story unfolds, the line between the gaming world and reality is blurred even further in the race to uncover the truth.

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Level Up

Tom Nicoll & Anjan Sarkar

Flo loves gaming but gets more than she bargains for when she meddles with one of her mum's technological inventions and finds herself sucked into a video game. Can she use all of her gaming know-how to get herself and her friend Max out in one piece? A great choice of illustrated chapter book that will appeal to reluctant readers in KS2.

Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes

Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes

Agent Asha is a clever and engaging story that weaves computing knowledge - such as how the internet works and if/then logic - into the story. Asha is from an Indian family in Brent and her family are delighted when she visits the library – supposedly to study. Little do they know that she is actually getting involved in a secret spy mission! She triumphs in this secret mission with wit, intelligence and a little dash of disobedience.

The Person Controller

David Baddiel & Jim Field

Fred and Ellie are twins who love video games. One day a Mystery Man sends the twins a mysterious-looking video game controller that gives them control of real-life people. Witty and fast-paced, David Baddiel spins a winner of a story for gaming fans.

Hacker

Malorie Blackman

A cyber-crime thriller from the former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman. Vicky's father is sent to jail for stealing a large sum of money from the bank and she sets about to prove that he is innocent. Using her brilliant computer skills, Vicky decides to hack into the bank computer files to find evidence of the truth about the real thief. 

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100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding

Various

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2019, this is a bright and colourful non-fiction text about computers and coding. 100 fascinating facts are appealingly presented via infographic-style illustrations, short text boxes and diagrams. This is the kind of non-fiction text that children like to choose to read and read again. 

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The Dog Who Saved the World

Ross Welford

Georgie Santos loves dogs more than anything in the world. Soon, Georgie is no longer allowed to see her beloved pet Mr Mash after he becomes sick with a deadly and highly contagious disease that threatens the life of every dog in the country. The only thing distracting Georgie from the pain of not being able to see Mr Mash is her new friendship with Dr Pretorius, an eccentric old scientist who is developing a curious virtual reality project inside a domed room. As time goes on and the deadly disease becomes even more serious, Georgie begins to wonder whether Dr Pretorius might hold the key to changing the future and, together with her beloved Mr Mash, embarks on a hair-raising virtual adventure to save the world.

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I Swapped My Brother On The Internet

Jo Simmons & Nathan Reed

I laugh-out-loud chapter book that will appeal to anyone who has ever wished they could upgrade their sibling for a better model. Johnny is fed up of being picked on by older brother Ted, so when he stumbles across a website called SiblingSwap.com, he turns to the internet to solve his problems. What follows is a hilarious series of not-quite-perfect alternative siblings. There is also an accompanying activity pack available to go with this book.

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The Accidental Rock Star

Tom McLaughlin

A laugh-a-minute story about overnight internet success.  Ollie and Hector dream of being rock stars, but unfortunately they have very little musical talent. One day, as they are making their own music video in Ollie’s room, a twist of fate shoots them to overnight success online. Before they know it, they become the biggest stars in the world - even though it was actually Ollie’s pet cat Nigel who is responsible for their music going viral.

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Why Are There Different Computer Languages?

Kirsty Holmes

​Part of the 'Computers and Coding' non-fiction series designed for ages 5-9, this visually appealing information text looks at the difference between computer languages including Scratch, HTML and Python. You may also like the other books in this recommended series too, such as How Computers Work (available here), Staying Safe Online (available here) and What is Coding? (available here).

The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game

Jon Claydon & Tim Lawler

This Top Gear spin-off is a fast-paced action story featuring cars, computer games, an evil billionaire, racing tournaments and of course, The Stig. The appeal will be obvious to some readers, but even readers with no experience of Top Gear can quickly become absorbed in this page-turning adventure full of twists and turns.

Sam Wheeler is new to his town, and nobody else seems to notice the strange goings-on there because adults and children alike are addicted to a mysterious new computer game called Xenon. Together with his new friends Mini Cooper and Ford Harrison, Sam begins to investigate the strange happenings and save his town from disaster.

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Ada Lovelace (Little People, Big Dreams)

Sanchez Vegara, Maria Isabel & Zafouko Yamamoto

Ada Lovelace was one of the world's first computer programmers. Growing up in a time when girls were not encouraged to pursue maths or science, Ada combined her passion for STEM and her big imagination to dream the world's first computer program. This illustrated picture book retells Ada's inspirational life and includes extra facts and a biographical timeline with historical images.

Knights and Bikes

Gabrielle Kent & Rex Crowle

Knights and Bikes is based on a computer game of the same name. It tells the story of two girls who undertake an exciting adventure on the island of Penfurzy. Demelza expects nothing exciting to happen on the island, until she meets a like-minded friend called Nessa and the pair dream up an adventure together. The quirky story is fast-paced and filled with action and the right amount of humour.

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Glitch

Sarah Graley

A graphic novel suitable for upper KS2 about a girl able to enter into the world of her new video game. Girl-gamer Izzy tries to juggle family, friendships and school in her real life with the virtual world of her new game, in which she is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss. 

Troll Stinks!

Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross

This is a great choice of book for exploring the topic of e-safety and cyberbullying with young children. Billy the Goat and his friend Cyril are playing with a phone when they decide to send mean messages to the troll living under the bridge. Soon the two friends discover that their online actions have had a big impact on troll's feelings and that their messages were not such a fun idea after all. For more on online safety, you may also like Chicken Clicking (available here) and #Goldilocks (available here) by the same authors.

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Learn the Language of Social Media

William Anthony

A stylishly designed colourful glossary of words relating to social media. Organized alphabetically, the book explains a range of terms from bitmojis and boomerangs to memes and moderators, all in an informative and accessible way. Whether you are a netiquette nerd or you don't know your YOLO from your YouTube, this a great guide to have to hand and for pupils in KS2.

Virtual Kombat: Gamer

Chris Bradford & Anders Frang

Street kid Scott jumps at the chance to be a Virtual Kombat gamer. If he can battle his way up the ranks, the ultimate prize will be his. But then his friend Kate goes missing in the battle arena, and Scott’s dream turns into a nightmare.

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In the Key of Code

Aimee Lucido

Suitable for Upper KS2/Lower KS3, this is a verse novel about an American girl called Emmy who tries to figure out the ups and downs of life while balancing her two separate passions; coding and music. As the book progresses, Emmy’s two worlds begin to interweave, showing how notes, beats and rhythms overlap with code, language and algorithms.