Book Review: My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian

by Alaena Hope [April 27, 2022]

I definitely enjoyed reading My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian. This humorous and mostly lighthearted story begins when Derek, a twelve-year-old boy with a mild reading disability, gets the chance to be part of a focus group testing out a new videogame called Arctic Ninja. His three best friends are just as excited about the opportunity as he is, and they are all more than eager to get started. Derek is also banking on the focus group to distract him from the upcoming state tests—which he is sure he will fail. However, things don’t get off to a great start as it turns out that even testing a video game can involve things like reading.

Things are also rather hectic at home, where Derek’s father seems to be getting loopier by the day as he continues to be unable to find work, and Derek’s mother has found him his thirteenth reading tutor.

I rather enjoyed hearing about Derek’s somewhat whacky but understanding family. What I liked most about this story, however, was all the little moments that highlighted how a little bit of support can go a long way and how everyone has their own strengths and their own most suitable ways of doing things like learning, and taking a little time to think about and understand these things about ourselves and others can open up entire worlds of possibility. Perhaps I’m being a little too dramatic, but I really did enjoy this book. It was a fun, relaxing read with a sunny aftertaste.

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