Game Over, Pete Watson
Game Over, Pete Watson

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Annotation: When video game obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him.
Catalog Number: #80523
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 205 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-15756-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-80482-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-15756-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-80482-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013024335
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Sixth-grader Pete Watson has been saving up and counting down for the release of Brawl-A-Thon 3000 XL, the latest version of his all-time favorite video game. When he goes to get his allowance and finds an IOU from his mom instead, Pete throws together a quick garage sale with junk from the basement to raise the missing funds. Incredibly, Pete's single sale s dad's old gaming console, the CommandRoid 85 ts into motion a plan to take over the world. Kidnapping, CIA agents, code words, disguises, and blackmail all come into play and come to a head at a gaming convention, where Pete's video-game skills are called upon to save the day in "the most epic boss battle of all time." Funny and fast-moving, Schreiber's (Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, 2011) latest is ridiculous fun. Narrated and purportedly illustrated by Pete himself, the book has a conversational, almost interactive quality to it. Also included: good old middle-school awkwardness, a rocky friendship, and an embarrassing crush. A madcap adventure that leaves no doubt that "video games are serious business."
Horn Book
When talented gamer Pete Watson sells a dated video-game console to get cash for the newest Brawl-A-Thon release, he unknowingly gets his father kidnapped and puts United States security at risk. With rapid-fire plot twists, slapstick comedy, and interactive illustrations complete with an "eight-bit" Pete animated through the page turns, this light read champions video-game history and skills.
Kirkus Reviews
An adventure of video games and spies. On "Brawl-A-Thon 3000 XL" release day, Pete Watson makes a terrible discovery: His mother's borrowed his savings, leaving him without enough cash to buy the greatest video game of all time. To raise the money, he hosts an impromptu, unsanctioned garage sale. Desperate Pete puts out his dad's ancient game console, a CommandRoid 85. The mysterious Bug Man quickly purchases it, and Pete is all set to buy his own game. But then his dad shows up at the video game store, upset about the sold console, but before he can question Pete as to its whereabouts, he is abducted by suit-clad goons. Shortly after this, the president of the United States holds a press conference, spouting gibberish. To find out how the president, his father and the CommandRoid are connected, Pete reunites with ex–best friend Wesley and Wesley's sister, Callie. They've been on the outs since he catastrophically mishandled her discovery of his crush on her. Of course, by the time the conspiracy is unraveled, the only way to save the world is for Pete to win an epic, multilevel video game boss battle. The illustrations range from cartoons to heavily pixelated images, suited to the pseudo-multimedia book's hilarious references to the special features the digital edition will have. A progressively silly, retro-geeky action story for the YOLO generation. (Science fiction. 8-14)
Publishers Weekly
For kids raised on Xbox, is there anything more pathetic than an old eight-bit video-game system? Pete Watson certainly doesn't have any reservations about selling his father's ancient CommandRoid 85 at an impromptu garage sale, not if it means he can afford a hot new game, "Brawl-a-Thon 3000 XL," the day it's released. Unfortunately for Pete, selling the CommandRoid is the first link in a wild chain of events that involves his father being kidnapped, an evil exterminator, and a destructive computer virus. At stake are no less than a killion dollars ("a number so large it would literally kill you") and the fate of the free world. Schreiber (Lenny Cyrus, School Virus) remains talented at combining anything-can-happen action and on-the-mark humor ("This is beyond awful," says Pete's father, after being digitized into an eight-bit character by the bad guys. "I know," replies Pete. "These graphics stink"). Rash's spot cartoons are entirely in sync with the story's goofy, metafictional humor and deliver many jokes themselves, making the novel read like a distant action-oriented cousin to the Wimpy Kid books. Ages 9-12. Author's agent: Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Associates. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;6&12; Pete Watson is a gamer. When the latest hit game gets released, he has a plan to secretly buy it&12;until he discovers that his mom has borrowed some of his money. Revising his plan, Pete holds a garage sale and sells anything in the house he can find, including his father's CommandRoid game console. This proves to be his biggest mistake as he discovers that his dad is really a super-spy, and is now trapped inside a video game due to Pete's poor decisions. Now the youngster has to pull together all of his skills to undo what he has done. The book's opening line, "On the Saturday morning that I almost triggered the end of the world, I woke up early," will hook readers immediately. Short chapters, engaging titles, lists, and several diary-type sketches will appeal to kids with short attention spans. The plot includes plenty of humor, mystery, crime fighting, and even a bit of romance. Another fun addition is the flip-book character at the bottom of each page, as well as the author's reference to the digital version of the book that doesn't exist. With so much discussion of coding and gaming in education, this is a timely addition, and it could lead to extension activities such as animation, game design, or transmedia projects.&12; Andy Plemmons, David C. Barrow Elementary, Athens, GA
Word Count: 27,734
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 165793 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q64528
Lexile: 710L


On the Saturday morning that I almost triggered the end of the world, I woke up early. I was excited for three reasons:

  1) No school.
  2) Mom and Dad would be at Dad's company softball game, which meant that I would have the house to myself all day.
  3) BRAWL-A-THON 3000 XL!!!!

   The original Brawl-A-Thon 3000 is my favorite video game of all time. If you asked me to rank my top ten games, it would go something like this:

   1) Brawl-A-Thon 3000
   2) Santa's Go-Kart Apocalypse
   3) Galactic Sheep-Sheep
   4) Galactic Sheep-Sheep Returns
   5) Maynard GermQuake's Return to ToxiCity
   6) Ninja Geeks: Fist of Algebra
   7) Doctor Dragon's Dojo of Doom
   8) Unicorn Zombies
   9) Tomb of the Penguin Warlord
   10) Mr.  Thumb  Goes  to  Market  (it's  better  than  it sounds)

   The exact order might change based on how I'm feeling that day, but trust me, Brawl-A-Thon 3000 is always at the top of the list.
   Now I know there's more to life than video games. You have to have laptops and iPhones too, so you can download apps and watch videos and take pictures and write books like this one, which I couldn't even type up without my mom's laptop. I'm also going to use the drawing program, because a picture is worth a thousand words, and I want this book to be at least fifty thousand words long, so I figure fifty pictures ought to do it.
   The point is, I'm not one of those guys who's just going to sit here and tell you that video games are the only things that matter.


The original Brawl-A-Thon 3000 is the single greatest video game in history. In fact, the experts all agree that it's pretty much the reason that video games were invented in the first place. Yes, it's that good.
   First of all, imagine parachuting down onto this half-destroyed island where packs of vicious half-mechanical animals have taken over. You have to build a character out of all these leftover machines and animal parts and fight an army of mutant machine beasts called MechReatures.
   Also, on this island time flows backwards and forward so that one minute you might be tearing a MechReature apart and the next minute you're accidentally building it up again. There are all kinds of mini games along the way where you have to shoot poison weeds and play speed chess against superintelligent monkey MechReatures. At the end of every level you have to battle a Mega-MechReature who is made up of all the worst parts of the guys you just fought. And that's just the beginning.

Dad says there's more to life than video games and nobody ever made the world a better place by battling mechanical wolves and laser-eyed hyenas all day, and I guess everybody's entitled to their opinion.
   But I have been playing Brawl-A-Thon 3000 for three years and I have gotten farther than anybody else I know, except for Wesley Midwood, who used to be my best friend.
   What happened?
   It's a long and tragic story.

Excerpted from Game over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

When videogame obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him. Will he be able to save his friends and family and the entire world from giant mechanical cockroaches and a massive cyber attack set to take down the world's network? And if he succeeds, who will save Pete from his massive crush on Callie Midwood? From the comedic mind of Joe Schreiber ( Lenny Cyrus School Virus, Au Revoir Crazy European Chick, Perry's Killer Playlist) , comesan action-packed Alex Rider-meets-Greg Heffley middle grade romp that grabs readers by the funny bone and doesn't let go! Illustrated throughout with black and white comic drawings by Andy Rash.

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