Insert Coin to Continue by John David Anderson

Insert Coin to Continue by John David Anderson
January 9, 2021 Alexandra Adlawan

5th Grade and Up

Most of the time Bryan Biggins is a freckle-faced boy, small for his age, who attends a school known for its unwritten uniform of North Face jackets and Hollister jeans. The rest of the time he is Kieran Nightstalker, the level-fifty dark-elf hero of his favorite video game, Sovereign of Darkness.

Until one day Bryan wakes up to find out his life has become a video game. Sort of. Except instead of fighting dragons or blasting bad guys, he’s still doing geometry and getting picked last for dodgeball. It’s still middle school. Only now there’s much more at stake.

Stealing the Twinkie from underneath the noses of those dieting teachers aren’t enough to earn him another life. And battling the creature that escaped from the science lab doesn’t seem to cut it either. And who knew Romeo and Juliet would turn into a zombie bloodbath?!

All the while he’s losing hit points and gaining levels and facing the truth that GAME OVER might flash before his eyes at any minute. It all seems to be building to something…something that has been haunting Bryan since way before his life turned into an X-Box nightmare, a challenge that only he can face. Will Bryan find a way to beat the game before it’s too late?


This book is extremely creative and very entertaining. I can easily see this book being made into a movie by Nickelodeon or Disney Channel.


Like I said back when I reviewed Click Here to Start by Denis Markell, I don’t play many video games or computer games, if any of you can remember back that far. I believe that kids who enjoy video games and even kids who don’t will love this book. I sure did.


The phrase insert coin to continue might confuse most kids. The reason I know this phrase is because there are two old arcade games at this pizza place nearby my house that I like. I loved playing Ms. Pacman as a kid but I could never get past Level 6.


John David Anderson does a great job at explaining middle school in general. How kids only care about what’s going on in their life and don’t have time to care about other problems. Middle school was a tough time for me. School in general was a tough time for me. There’s no right way to survive middle school. What I did was do the work and tried not to talk if I could help it. But that’s just my method. So, here’s the only advice I can give you: keep your head down and try not to care what other people think of you.


For fans of Click Here to Startand Ready Player One.


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