The Lost Books (Project for Edx-MIT)

the lost books

This game is a custom Minecraft map designed to discover the world, the story, and the characters from classic children’s books. One of the goals is to collect an inventory of books from the must-reads of youth literature.

Using mods, a variety of changes are added to the regular Minecraft gameplay, including dialogues with non playing characters, specific rules, challenges, puzzles and quests.

Players can interact with each other and contribute through all the means of communication available in the game’s world: chat, billboards, books, collaborative library.

Narrative context:

Welcome to a world populated with book characters! It was a dream place until a mad king decided that books were illegal. He proclaimed the Auto-Da-Fé law, and sent his dreadful army to burn all the books they could find. The books were destroyed or lost, their pages scattered accross the land. The library, which was once a magnificent temple of books, is now a pile of crumbling ruins, and the young people don’t even know how to read. But a handful of heroic readers have rebelled against the king. They call themselves the Guild of the Guardians, their quest is to find all the lost books and rebuild the Library. Will you join them?


  • Explore the world and use the map to find Tom Sawyer, Alice, Robinson and many other famous book characters
  • Talk to the characters, and help them complete some tasks related to their story, they will give you rewards!
  • Find the hidden books. These are excerpts from classic books. It might be useful to read them as they often contain clues to secret items.
  • Store the books in a safe place: a chest, or the bookshelves in your house
  • Rebuild the Library to store the books found by all the players.
  • Avoid being caught by the King’s army, or you may die and lose all your items.
  • Advanced players may write and hide their own books
  • They might also meet Mr Gutenberg and learn about the history of books


What is your topic?

Promote reading and writing (literature – communications – storytelling)

Who is your audience?

Children, ages 7 to 13, grades 2 to 7

Why is that interesting?

The game will provide a social and narrative context to motivate struggling or reluctant readers to read, and develop writing skills for the more advanced readers.

What is the fun in your topic/game?

The quests allow to role-play, and meet with famous fictional characters, while exploring the world and the story of each book. The writing activities provide a “pretend to work” kind of fun, which is very empowering for children.

The social interactions provide another layer of fun and motivation.

Where/how do you propose the game will be played?

This game would be available online and accessible as an add-on for Minecraft users. It could also be used at school, and available for download at the Minecraft Edu worlds library.

How do you think someone would use your game to teach?

The teacher would be able to select a list of books or reading themes to be featured in the game. Students can collaboratively create a new area dedicated to a book. Writing activities could be organized in the classroom and then published in the game.

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