Last Gamer Standing

Katie Zhao. Scholastic, $7.99 paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-74150-6
A virtual reality game that draws inspiration from various Asian cultures, Dayhold is a global phenomenon, with its own academy dedicated to training the next generation of players. Currently attending its 2067 summer camp session on a full scholarship, Chinese American 12-year-old Reyna Cheng is a rising superstar, poised to excel in the Junior Dayhold Tournament, whose prize is $10,000. But no one knows of her success—to fit into the male-dominated scene and avoid racist and sexist bullying, Reyna keeps her identity as TheRuiNar a strict secret. Having promised her parents, who are coping with her mother’s breast cancer, to give up her dream of becoming a pro gamer if she doesn’t win, Reyna is determined to show everyone that she has what it takes to be a Dayhold champion—until an opponent who knows her identity threatens to dox her unless she withdraws. 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. Ages 8–12. Agent: Penny Moore, Aevitas Creative Management. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2021
Release date: 09/21/2021
Genre: Children's
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