By Bob Zakrzewski
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I became aware of Cline’s first novel a few years ago when a close friend and fellow English teacher raved about it. His rare enthusiasm made Ready Player One a title I kept stashed away in my memory, but also contributed to my falling into the dangerous trap of judging a book by its fanbase.
When this particular friend went on and on about this bildungsroman, dystopian, virtual-reality video-gamer adventure tale, I dismissed it. He is a gamer, and I am not. He loves Star Wars, obscure comics, and prog rock. I can appreciate these, but nowhere near the extent he or many of their avid enthusiasts do. This book sounded like something right up his alley, and something several blocks away from mine.
Last year, my curriculum supervisor sent out a message that she read the book and loved it, asking if any teacher would want to use it in class. Always open to trying new books with my students, I reconsidered the text. Read more