Bound To Stay Bound

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 Ruby code
 Author: Khoury, Jessica

 Publisher:  Scholastic Press (2023)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 293 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 517101 ISBN: 9781338859287
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Virtual reality -- Fiction
 Video games -- Fiction
 Artificial intelligence -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

Bullied at school and home, Ash finds respite from his unhappy life in virtual reality games. One night, he spends his meager savings to help a homeless man, who thanks him with a copy of an old fantasy RPG called The Glass Realm. In this game, he meets a seemingly humble NPC named Ruby. She seems different than most game characters and they soon find out she's a sentient artificial intelligence who's been hidden inside the game itself.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 11.0   Quiz: 523252

   Kirkus Reviews (04/01/23)
   School Library Journal (05/01/23)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 05/01/2023 Gr 3–7—Khoury's latest is an exciting cyber-thriller along the lines of Ready Player One and War Games. This is the story of 13-year-old Ash who is drawn to the virtual world since, in real life, he has an abusive stepfather and school bullies. Ash's adventure begins when one night, on his way back from a video arcade, he helps a person on the street in need. In thanks, the man gives him a gift of a small metal box. It holds a retro-style video game called The Glass Realm, an old fantasy role-playing game. During gameplay, he meets a seemingly unassuming side character named Ruby. But as Ash delves further into The Glass Realm, he realizes it is more than it seems, and Ruby is more than just a small character; she can actually rewrite the game. Hakeem, Ash's good friend, worries that Ash is becoming a zombie virtual reality addict, but Ash is more worried that the virtual reality is the reality. Readers will be enticed by this sci-fi thriller, which is action-packed and full of interesting, diverse characters. Khoury's intuitive gamer sense permeates these pages. VERDICT Video game fans will love this book. Recommended for juvenile sci-fi collections.—Lisa Gieskes - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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