by Vivian Vande Velde
Giannine Bellasario gets a gift certificate from her absentee father to play a virtual reality game. Meanwhile, the gaming center is under seige by a censorship group that apparently took its cues from PETA and ELF. While Giannine is under, the protesters damage the game she was playing on. She must win the game or she might die. The game itself features interesting characters like a barbarian king who just wants his crown back and some half-brothers that want nothing more than to off Giannine’s character. While playing the game, she learns about trust and forgiveness. Overall, an engrossing read. I would recommend it to middle school or high school girls who kind of like computers and fantasy, but aren’t obsessed. It would also be a good book for kids with absentee dads.