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Last Gamer Standing (Paperback)
Ready Player Onemeets the action of battle royale video games in this middle-grade sci-fi perfect for fans ofFortnite.
In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng's world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues.
Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys' club and to protect herself against trolls and their harassment, she games 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 threatened to be doxed 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!
* "Emotional depth and nuanced representation level up this action-packed, futuristic page-turner." -- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"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