As the teacher-librarian, I get a lot of book requests, and a common demand is for Minecraft books. I’ve searched online (and “Minecraft books for kids” is a common enough query on Google that it pops up as a regular search option) and there are quite a few Minecraft-related titles in existence. I have noticed a worrisome trend in the youth-focused Minecraft publishing trend: with the exception of one series, all the other books I’ve seen available are written (or advertised as written) by publishing companies instead of authors. There’s Egmont and Scholastic and Gamerlife Publishing and FyreUK, but the only one I noticed with an individual person attached was the Gameknight999 series by Mark Cheverton. (I’d love to be proven wrong on this, so feel free to correct me in the comments.)

Does that matter? Should it matter? I confess that as the wife of a writer and a friend of several excellent children’s writers (like fellow GamingEdu Liam O’Donnell), I think that writing quality is important and authors play a vital role in creating good books. There are some readers that will pick up any book as long as it has something remotely to do with Minecraft, regardless of the writing abilities of the creator. Read the Amazon, Goodreads, Indigo, or Barnes and Noble reviews of these books and adults gush about how enthusiastic their children are to discover these titles that relate to the hobby and game they adore. We’re grateful that Minecraft books exist, because it gives fans a chance to read in print about their favourite in-game characters and situations. I won’t be a snob and judge these books before reading them, but even if it’s possible to enjoy reading material that’s poorly written (and I’m living proof), it is nice to have both a book on a topic you are passionate about as well as a book that is well written. Minecraft books can be “crafted” well.

Like Minecraft the game, Minecraft books lend themselves to user creations. If you’ve played Minecraft, you know that you can write books in-game. In our all-ages Professional Play server, a place for educators to come and safely explore Minecraft at their own pace, a library exists. My own children have written vast tomes that exist only in the virtual realm. My daughter loves to write. My son hates to write. Both of them create books in Minecraft, about Minecraft. So do other players.

2014-05-23_21.12.03 Here’s a book as a menu in a virtual restaurant.

Player-made books don’t have to remain online. As part of their media assignment, different classes of mine had to write group narratives based on characters, settings, and problems drawn randomly from a hat. A small group of Grade 2s developed a Minecraft theme to their narrative. It took over a month to finish the story and the illustrations, but they were super-excited, and just recently we shared the story with the entire school.

The file is too big to share in its entirety here, so I’ve uploaded the 39 page PDF to my wiki. You can access it with this link.

So, just like the game, you can see what other Minecraft (literary) creations others have made, or you can go out and make your own. It’s up to you.