By Justin D Williams
AFK is a publishing program that brings you books about your favorite video games like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, World of Warcraft, Hello Neighbor, and Five Nights at Freddy’s. From guidebooks to original novels, stay in the worlds of the games you love, even while you’re Away From Keyboard.
Scholastic’s “Away From Keyboard” (AFK) Initiative builds on kids’ interests in video and computer games through original fi ction, guidebooks, and behind-the-scenes storytelling with massively popular games like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Five Nights at Freddy’s, World of Warcraft, Pokémon, and many more. The books in this program will provide ways to develop literacy skills and kids’ love of reading in addition to enriching their gaming experiences with additional knowledge, world building, and strategies. AFK books offer a range of titles that teachers, librarians, and parents can use to engage and support growing readers of all ages and interests. Just as graphic novels and comics have gained prominence and become more accepted in both literary and educational areas, digital media like video games is also becoming a more integrated part of the cultural and educational landscape. There are additional learning opportunities with gaming and other alternate forms of media, which can provide an entry point to focus on STEM and coding. The titles in the AFK line can be used in conjunction with the games for literacy lessons and with curriculum-based standards, touching on elements of story, craft and structure, key ideas and details, diverse literacy, critical-reading skills, and more.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S • Grades 7 & up Five Nights at Freddy’s is a bestselling survival horror video game, where players defend against the malfunctioning animatronic characters in a pizza restaurant—Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza—by using security cameras to track their movements through the facility! Creator of the game series, Scott Cawthorn, brings his game and characters to life in a number of Scholastic books, including young adult novels and guidebooks. Full of intense gameplay and twisted mysteries, these books capture all the excitement, terror, and strategic gameplay that is so integral to this beloved game series .
HELLO NEIGHBOR • Grades 5 & up In the hit stealth/horror video game Hello Neighbor, gamers navigate through a threatening neighbor’s house to uncover what is being hidden in the basement. The goal is not to be discovered by the menacing neighbor, Mr. Peterson, and there’s one vital catch: Advanced technology learns from the gamer’s every move, so an evolving strategy is key. In these mystery-packed, illustrated prequel novels, Carly Anne West provides many puzzles to unearth after a young boy, Nicky Roth, moves to a new town and meets his strange new neighbors, the Petersons . . .
HALO • Grades 7 & up Based on the hit game that has captivated gamers for over 17 years, Scholastic’s Halo books explore the human race’s challenges with fanatical alien races, and mysteries older than civilization itself. Uniquely trained super-soldiers, the Spartans, spearhead the efforts to overcome incalculable odds, by using team-work along with their specialized training.