By Rachael Schmidtlein, Teen & Tween Services Coordinator
By now you’ve probably heard the news: Pokémon is back and with a bang. Pokémon GO has rekindled the nerd flame for anyone who grew up dreaming of training their own creatures to battle others. To be honest, for millennials of all ages, Pokémon never actually left. Trust me, based on the holds list for the graphic novels at the library, Pokémon is as popular now as it was in 1995.
Those who have loved Pokémon just bided their time playing the card game, watching the TV show and reading the books until the world found a way to bring their love for the game into modern times. And they’ve done it! Who are “they” you might ask? (Or not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.) Niantic, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company get the credit for this. The missing puzzle piece all these years was Niantic, a software company originally part of Google that develops augmented reality games. These are the people who thought: Wouldn’t it be great if you could see Pokémon in the real world?. My answer to them is “yes” and “thank you.”
In Pokémon GO, players use their GPS enabled devices to visit locations in their communities dubbed Poké Stops. Along the way, players collect Pokémon characters and battle them against other players at locations called Poké Gyms. The goal of the game is to create the most advanced Pokémon and achieve higher levels than other players. In order to do this, players are forced to walk, run or bike around town. The game is promoting exercise as well as player interaction.
Many have grumbled about Pokémon Go players “not paying attention” to their surroundings. I even know of someone who is convinced that Pokémon Go is the first step in bringing forth Ray Bradbury’s world of Fahrenheit 451. I can’t tell you if Pokémon GO will lead us all to a dystopian future where firemen burn books (I sincerely hope not) but I can tell you that the game has gotten people moving. Families are now taking time together to go “Poké hunting”. Friends who usually sit inside to play the card game are now out in the world, moving among nature and rekindling their connection to communities. Businessmen and women now take walks during their break times to “catch ‘em all” instead of sitting inside for eight hours at a time. Are people paying more attention to their phones because of Pokémon GO? Well, yes probably, but really not more than people already were with Facebook, Snapchat and texting.
Now that you’re clued into the who and why, I’m going to give those of you who aren’t in tune with the Pokémon universe some tools to get started on the what.
Pokémon Adventures, volume 1, graphic novel
All your favorite Pokémon characters jump out of the screen into the pages of this action-packed manga! Red doesn’t just want to train Pokémon, he wants to be their friend too. Bulbasaur and Poliwhirl seem game, but independent Pikachu won’t be so easy to win over! And watch out for Team Rocket, Red… they only want to be your enemy!
Gotta read about ’em all! This revised and updated edition of the mega-bestselling Pokémon Essential Handbook includes stats and facts on over 700 Pokémon. It’s everything you ever wanted to know about every Pokémon — all in one place!
I Choose You, chapter book
Ash wants to be the world’s greatest Pokémon master. With Pikachu at his side he sets off to capture and train every Pokémon he can find. Ash is determined, but there is one huge problem: Pikachu won’t listen to a single thing Ash says.
Join friends Ash, Brock, and Misty as they begin their journey through the Pokémon world. Enjoy the Pokémon story from the beginning. Meet our hero Ash, in his hometown of Pallet Town where boys and girls are encouraged to begin their Pokémon journeys. This set includes all 26 episodes.