Video Rivals


59 pages
ISBN 0-88780-314-8
DDC jC843'.54





Illustrations by Pierre Durand
Translated by Sarah Cummins
Reviewed by Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual’s
Children’s Literature edition.


Raphael has started at a new school, and only has one friend, Myriam,
but she’s away for a while, so he’s using his excellent imagination
to think up plans to get some new friends. When he hears about the video
game championship, he decides he must win it, so that the kids in the
new school will notice him. What he doesn’t know is that popular,
bossy Damian will stop at nothing to win himself—he even goes so far
as to stick gum in Raphael’s video game player so that he can’t
practise! Raphael, bent on revenge, asks Myriam’s big brother Steve to
steal Damian’s machine (but he doesn’t), and meanwhile tries to keep
his fingers nimble by playing the piano, braiding his sister’s hair,
and knitting. His handy techno aunt comes to the rescue by fixing his
machine, but in the end neither he nor Damian wins—Myriam does.

This is an entertaining little contribution to Formac’s First Novel
series. The pace moves quickly, and there is enough humor to keep most
early readers interested from start to finish. Perhaps inadvertently,
the story provides considerable evidence for the case against
competition as a healthy basis for the social lives of children.


Sarfati, Sonia., “Video Rivals,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,