First thing to note is that Minecraft doesn't have too many of its own books (as of the publication date of this entry anyway). Other than a few guide books from Scholastic, you won't find much to entertain young minds (they want you playing, not reading, after all). Luckily, a handful of independent authors have come forth and created their own fan fiction, based on the popular game (they are in no way affiliated with Mojang or the Minecraft company). The last entry I wrote focused on the Winter Morgan series and the Mark Cheverton series. This latest post is dedicated to the Herobrine Books collection.
What is Diary of a Minecraft Zombie About?
If you've ever read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, you'll get the general idea of these books. They are written from Zombie's point of view (from his actual diary, in fact). You'll get a peek into his everyday life, and meet some of his good friends, too, like Skelee, Slimey, and Creepy. You'll find that this Zombie's life isn't at all what you thought it would be. He's actually just a regular kid- well, aside from the pungent odor and green skin. He's even friends with a human- Steve- who lives on a farm (hey, you know him, right?).
What Age Group is Diary of a Minecraft Zombie for?
This series is recommended for ages 7 and up. The Jersey Momma's Boy is 6 (almost 7, he's quick to point out) and he did just fine reading them on his own (he is a strong reader). If your little one is not confident enough to read chapter books on his/her own, these make great read alouds, too. And you know what? You might think your child can't read these on their own, but you'd be surprised. When our book came in the mail (I was checking the mail on the way to the store), I handed it to The Jersey Momma's Boy in the backseat of the car. "Look! Our book is here!" I exclaimed. I drove halfway down the road and realized he was reading the whole time. By the time we got to the store he said, "I need a bookmark!" He had already finished the first two chapters!
Is There Anything Scary or Gross in These Books?
If your child is already used to playing Minecraft, then they know about all of the monsters who exist there- zombies, slime cubes, creepers, skeletons, spiders and more. But they are portrayed as funny and kind of cute in this series, so I highly doubt anyone could be frightened by them. Just like any kids' book, every now and then they'll mention boogers or butts, but nothing inappropriate and nothing more than to generate a giggle. And there is one little section in Book 3 where Zombie talks about puberty with his dad, and how his voice is growing deeper. I kind of glossed over that with The Jersey Momma's Boy. I didn't want to explain to him what puberty was yet, so I just changed the wording around while I was reading it out loud.
What Sets These Apart from Other Minecraft Series?
Okay, so there are a few positives that I have to highlight here. One is that this book series is cute and funny. We were reading these out loud and actually laughing. A few times I stopped and even said to my son, "You know, these are really funny!" Even the Jersey Grandpa picked up the book and read a few pages and started laughing. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I also liked that they were in diary form. That means Zombie writes in short sentences and the chapters are quick reads. Another plus for this series are the pictures! We were so happy to see little pictures throughout the pages- nothing fancy, just black and white images- but enough for my son to take notice and to break up the monotony of words.
What's Not So Great About This Series?
Some reviewers on Amazon complained that they didn't like the short sentences. But this is a diary, remember, so it's written like one (and honestly, some of the reviewers on Amazon are kids, so I'm reviewing this from a parent's perspective). Zombie tells you about his day and all of the things he's going through. I kind of liked that. It made the whole thing seem more personal, and it made Zombie really likable as a character. Another complaint that Amazon reviewers mentioned was the lack of editing. Sorry to say, they're right about that one for the first two books. But I can tell you this GREATLY improves as the book series goes on. I didn't have too many complaints about editing/spelling in the latter part of the series. Remember, Herobrine Books is an independent author (that means they published the book themselves through Amazon), so they might be their own editor, too.
How Many Books are in the Series?
Right now (as of the publication date of this entry), there are nine books in the Diary of a Minecraft Zombie series, with more to come (we've read 1-8 so far!). Herobrine also wrote some cool comic books based on Minecraft, too, which you can read about here.
Where Can I Find Them?
All of Herobrine Books are available on Amazon. You can click on my affiliate links below if you want to order them.
Disclaimer: Herobrine Books approached me and asked me if I wanted to review Diary of a Minecraft Zombie. I was so excited by this prospect that I went ahead and purchased my own copy. Herobrine then sent me the first three books in the series in exchange for an honest review. And since I wound up with two copies of Book 1, I decided to raffle one off to a lucky reader. Did you miss the contest? Then be sure to 'like' me on Facebook so you don't miss the next one!