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Children's Fiction New Experience

War Games

by (author) Jacqueline Guest

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Jun 2012
New Experience, Parents, Death & Dying
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2008
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12
  • Reading age: 7 to 10


Ryan Taber's father is about to deploy for his first tour of duty with the Canadian army in Afghanistan. Ryan lives his days on an army base in Alberta, and spends his evenings at the CyberKnights cafe, playing his favourite video game, Desert Death. At CyberKnights, Ryan meets the Desert Death ultimate champion and becomes entangled in a world of danger and deceit that begins to resemble the very real circumstances his father is facing overseas.

About the author

Award-winning author JACQUELINE GUEST is the author of numerous Lorimer novels, including the Arthur Ellis Award nominee Wild Ride and A Goal in Sight, which was shortlisted for a Golden Eagle Children's Choice Book Award. Many of her novels have also been Canadian Children's Centre Our Choice selections including the SideStreets novel At Risk, and the Sports Stories novels Hat Trick, Free Throw, and Soccer Star. Jacqueline Guest lives in Bragg Creek, Alberta.

Jacqueline Guest's profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection 2010

Editorial Reviews


"In her latest book, War Games, Jacqueline Guest has provided us with tremendous insight into some of the unique challenges our military families may face when their CF member deploys to Afghanistan. I was moved by how powerfully and yet realistically the story played out, and I see this novel as an invaluable resource to our teens and the parents of teens, who may be impacted by Canada's mission in Afghanistan."

Calgary Military Family Resource Centre

War Games should appeal to its intended audience of teenaged boys and also provoke them to consider questions about the ethics and motivations of war abroad, as well as the equally important matter of learning to grapple with the complexities of familial relationships at home.


Canadian Review of Materials - Vol. XV, No. 13

Librarian Reviews

War Games

This story realistically interweaves the complexities assailing a sixteen-year-old boy and his mother when their soldier father/husband is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Incorporating the video gaming subculture, the illicit drug business and life at a Canadian Forces Base high school this young adult novel will attract male readers. Using his father’s absence to gain more freedom the protagonist creates a very difficult scenario for himself and his family. Throughout the story, he begins to transform his thinking about the glory of military encounters with the reality of the actual experience.

Guest was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award and was a Canadian Children’s Centre Our Choice selection for two other titles.

Caution: Contains some coarse language, descriptions of drug use and very violent video games.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2009-2010.

War Games (SideStreets)

At the CyberKnights Cafe, Ryan spends his evenings playing his favourite video game, “Desert Death.” There Ryan meets the “Desert Death” ultimate champion and gets enmeshed in a world of deceit and danger that starts to resemble the real conditions his father is facing during his first tour of duty with the Canadian army in Afghanistan.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Other titles by Jacqueline Guest