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Josh Baxter Levels Up af Gavin Brown
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Josh Baxter Levels Up (original 2016; udgave 2016)

af Gavin Brown (Forfatter)

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722299,811 (3.88)Ingen
Because his family has moved again Josh Baxter is starting at a new school for the third time in two years, and this time he has really started off on the wrong foot--but when his mother takes away the video games that have become his refuge because of his poor grades, Josh realizes he has to come up with a new strategy for success.… (mere)
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Young readers may appreciate the central theme of this book, of a person using something that's familiar to him, the "leveling up" he does in video games, and applying it to an area of life in which he is struggling. The protagonist, Josh, considers in tough situations how his video-game heroes would react, and each chapter concludes with a visual overview in terms of current level, available lives, points gained, and skills unlocked. An especially amusing touch is that every graphic-themed T-shirt Josh Baxter wears seems to be his favorite, at least at the time that he's wearing it. ( )
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Nov 24, 2018 |
Josh Baxter is adjusting to life at a new school again and uses his love of video games to help him overcome various issues such as making new friends, facing up a bully, getting good grades, and so on.

This middle-grade book is a quick and entertaining read that also manages to touch on a variety of tough issues without wading too far into the melodramatic or upsetting realms. Josh's father has died somewhat recently, and his family is struggling with that loss as well as having moved several times and having an overworked mother. In addition, Josh faces a number of common issues for tween kids - especially those who have been the new kid at school - fitting in, balancing play and school, etc. Without being at all preachy, the author presents young readers will some thoughts on how to deal with these sundry problems - dedicating oneself's to studying particularly hard subjects, asking for help when needed, listening to others' feelings and interpreting their needs, accepting consequences, and learning from setbacks.

All of this heavy stuff in wrapped up in a book that uses the language of video games to express the main character's feelings, thoughts, and progress and thus making the book more light-hearted. Although they are sparse, the book's illustrations use common video games symbolism, such as life refills and unlocked skills, to reinforce the text. Most of the references peppered throughout the book are pretty well known in the pop culture (e.g., Mario Bros.), so being a hardcore gamer is not necessary to read and understand this book. However, the video game aspect may draw in readers, especially reluctant ones, if they happen to be gamers.

There are a few times when the author repeats himself, but otherwise this book is well written without condescending to middle-grade children. The text does include a couple of mild oaths (e.g., crap) thrown in as well as a handful of questionable things that Josh does (such as hiding more violent video games from his mother and going to a friend's house to play video games after being temporarily banned from playing them at home), which some parents may find objectionable, but otherwise this a pretty tame read and the many times that Josh learns something valuable and imparts that to the readers far outweigh these minor detractions.

The author does include diverse characters in terms of age, sex, race, and interests throughout the text, so the book gets points for that. However, the publishers get a big thumbs down for whitewashing these characters, depicting characters that are clearly Asian or Latina in the book as Caucasian in the illustrations. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | May 19, 2016 |
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Because his family has moved again Josh Baxter is starting at a new school for the third time in two years, and this time he has really started off on the wrong foot--but when his mother takes away the video games that have become his refuge because of his poor grades, Josh realizes he has to come up with a new strategy for success.

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