Cover Image: Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena

Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena

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Member Reviews

This was a surprising delight of a book. I think it will appeal to my gamer kids! I will be adding to my book list for the 6-8 library I serve.
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My family listens to audiobooks on long car rides. During our recent vacation our first audio was Team Chu And The Battle Of Blackwood Arena. 
Siblings Clip and Sadie Chu are obsessed with laser tag. They are highly competitive and each shine in their own way, where Clip is athletic Sadie has a head for brainy puzzles. This story draws them into an intricate game of laser tag in which they’ll have to become a team and each bring their friends to help a kid who has been waiting for a chance to get out. Can the siblings unite their strengths and their friends ? This was a great middle grade adventure story - that tackles sibling rivalry, tradition, racism and family misogyny. 
This book had all of us captivated and thinking about a family game of laser tag when it ended !
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This was a very fun story. The story follows the Chu siblings and their love for laser tag, as well as their family dynamics. The book has chapters following Clip and chapters following Sadie, which gives you both their perspectives and helps identify with both. This also makes this a great book for both boys and girls. 

The story is actionpacked and fun and the lasertag arena is every kids dream. The stakes get raised quite a bit throughout the story, and the overal theme of family gets portrayed really well. 

The audiobook was amazing. The two narrators really brought Clip and Sadie to live, and just made the book even better.

The one weakness, imo, is the final resolution which felt rather rushed. 

I think this is a great book for younger children, and especially for people with siblings, who will find this very relatable.
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This book was really fun!
We have 2 main characters, siblings Sadie and Clip. They are typical siblings who bicker and squabble all the time. A new laser tag arena opens up in their town with a prize for whoever can get the highest score. Of course, Sadie and Clip have to compete to get a higher score than one another. When both Sadie and Clip see a mysterious boy in the laser tag game asking for help, they think he's just part of the game. When Clip goes in to the game by himself, he realizes that might not be true. He gets stuck in the game and needs his sister and friends to help him get out.
The characters were wonderful, they were written as middle grade characters really well. I loved the friendship these characters had and the lesson Sadie and Clip learned from another pair of siblings in the book. 
The actual plot was so fun. I was immersed into the audiobook and it was so easy to listen to. All the levels of the laser tag games were so fun when they were actual laser tag games and they were just as fun when the characters got stuck in the game but the stakes were higher which made it more exciting. The ending wrapped things up really well.
My favorite part of this book was the absolutely hilarious nod to Legends of the Hidden Temple.
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I  LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It was so much fun! And it was SUCH a refreshing take on the “teamwork is more important than being headstrong and doing everything yourself because you think you can do it better than everyone else” trope. And sibling rivalry! And showing that your weaknesses are not BAD, they can be improved upon if you are willing to hear people out and work TOGETHER. Every elementary library needs this!
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This is the book I wrote, so I'm a little biased, but the audiobook narrators are great! There are some edits being made (especially with regard to the Vietnamese pronunciations), but all in all, I'm super excited for kids to listen to this.
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Thank you so much to #Netgalley, Julie C. Dao, and OrangeSky Audio for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook early. 

Angela Tran and Richard Nguyen did a fantastic job as narrators for this book. It was fun and engaging throughout. I am beyond excited to include this in my digital library for my students! 

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book and Julie C. Dao’s writing. It was exciting, full of twists, and kept me enthralled. A few times I even gasped when something was revealed, which doesn’t happen a lot for me in middle grade books. A very welcome surprise! 

This book is told from alternating perspectives of the Chu siblings, Sadie and Clip. And I adored the way Richard and Angela brought their own spin to the friend group involved in the adventure in a way that never left me confused as to who was talking.  

If you or your students/kids enjoy a story with sibling rivalry, laser tag, tons of action, and anything to do with computers and coding, this is it! Absolutely an automatic addition for me!
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Thank you #NetGalley and Julie C. Dao for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook! 

The book is told from the alternating perspectives of the Chu siblings, Sadie and Clip. They don't have much in common and the one thing they do have in common, laser tag, is still a hot topic of their sibling rivalry. When a new gaming arena comes to town and combines laser tag and virtual reality elements, Sadie and Clip are excited to put their skills to the test. As they start playing, though, they both see a mysterious figure who asks them for help. This unexpected twist throws Sadie and Clip together in unexpected ways as they fight their way through the game with their friends.

I am excited to recommend this book to my 6th graders!

Audio narration was fantastic. Sadie and Clip each had their own narrator, who did a great job of voices for the two siblings and their friends.
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An epic adventure for a middle school audience. And true to the age group it has a happy ending. The siblings fight just like any  other siblings but it all works itself out I'm the end
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Team Chu is a story of two siblings who are constantly competing for the affection of their family and each other. When they encounter some extraordinary trials in their new local laser tag arena, they learn that working as a team will get them further than any solo mission.

This is my first book from Dao, and I found it to be a fun and exciting read. Being Vietnamese myself, I'm always open to trying out Vietnamese authors, and I'm glad they chose to use Viet narrators as well. I love how she uses the Asian family dynamic to show growth between the siblings. I did find that although I enjoy pop culture references, there may have been one too many in the book. And although this isn't too relevant, it annoyed me that they referred to their maternal grandparents as bà nội and ông nội, when it should be ngoại. Maybe I misheard because it was an audiobook, but I'm fairly certain that's what they said. 

Overall, great book for kids!
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Thank you to #NetGalley, Julie C. Dao, and the publisher for the eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Brother and sister, Clip and Sadie both love laser tag, but that's as similar as they get. Clip is popular and a star on the soccer field while Sadie is a star in the classroom and is trying to prove that she can do anything her big brother can do. So when a new laser tag arena comes to town, Sadie is ready to prove she is just as good as Clip. As they begin playing laser tag though, a mysterious figure appears in the game asking for help. Soon Clip, Sadie, and their friends are fighting their way through tough battle grounds. Can Sadie and Clip put their sibling rivalry to the side and learn to work together to beat the game?

This middle grade book was FANTASTIC! I not only loved the diversity of the book, but I also loved how it focused on the importance of teamwork. While laser tag isn't really a video game, I think kids will love the aspect of Clip and Sadie doing something "virtual". I will be buying a copy of this book for my classroom!
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Sibling rivalry, an epic VR laser tag arena, and a mysterious boy all come together in this great action/adventure story with a bit of sci-fi thrown in!

Loosely inspired by Hansel and Gretel, this follows Vietnamese-American siblings Clip and Sadie Chu who are constantly fighting and trying to one-up each other. When a brand new, high-tech laser tag arena opens in their town, they and their friends are sucked into an unexpected adventure.

This was fun, fast-paced, and has a great story arc for these siblings who fight, but also really love each other. And it ties in a lot of their Vietnamese heritage and confronts how their more traditional grandparents have treated them differently because of their genders. Overall, this was a really fantastic middle-grade story with plenty of action and cool virtual reality simulations! Clearly some of the challenges were inspired by things like Legends of the Hidden Temple, and there are lots of different pop culture and media references tucked in here. I had a good time with it and think kids will as well. (I also noticed a fun cameo referencing another author I'm a fan of- at one point the top of the leaderboard is claimed by "Tochi O." so if you like gritty adult sci-fi, you should go check out his excellent books Riot Baby and Goliath)

The audio narration was also great on this! They did a good job with kids voices and energy. I received an audio review copy of this book from NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
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This book was so fun! Middle graders will love it, has a bit of everything or everyone. The sibling dynamic was so realistic it elevated the read for me. Each game so full of adventure with such a variety of fun that it made you wish you could play too. Fully engrosses the reader in the book, younger readers won't be able to put it down!
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