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8-Bit Christmas

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  59 reviews
It's 1980-something and all nine-year-old Jake Doyle wants for Christmas is a Nintendo Entertainment System. No Jose Canseco rookie card, no GI Joe hovercraft, no Teddy friggin' Ruxpin--just Nintendo. But when a hyperactive Shih Tzu is accidentally crushed to death by a forty-two-inch television set and every parent in town blames Nintendo, it's up to Jake to take matters ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2013 by DB Press
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Excellent Book!

Very nostalgic! As a child of the 1980s, the whole book was a trip down memory lane. Engaging and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who were there, this book is an experience, and reminds us of a simpler time when video games were still new and kids played outside. Magnificent ending! Definitely recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the 80s, especially those who caught Nintendo fever!
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5, A Christmas Story for the child of the 80s. It was warm nostalgia, had holiday spirit without being sickly sweet. Fast fun read.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
***Thank you to NetGalley for providing this free ARC copy.

I put this on the "children's literature" shelf, even though it's narrated by an adult looking back on his Nintento-crazed childhood. But really I think it's a book adults would love more - particularly adults who were children of the '80s, like I was.

Narrator Jake is 9 years old when the first glorious grey Nintendo Entertainment System hits the market. The richest and most spoiled kid in town gets a Nintendo and all the other kid
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A very funny story! At one point, I was laughing so hard that I had tears running down my cheeks! In fact, it is still making me laugh!

The author takes us back to the 1980's and tells the story of a nine year old boy whose only goal in life is to score a Nintendo Entertainment System. Sure, he likes his baseball cards, his teacher and other things, but nothing else comes close to the Nintendo. When the rich kid in town is the only owner of the brand new system, he lords it over the rest of the b
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
A flashback in a book. I guess this is what our parents felt like when they watched A Christmas Story for the first time. All the little pop culture things that make you say "I remember that". This book was great, the banning of The Nintendo Entertainment System county wide, and all he wants for Christmas is a Nintendo. The schemes and the hijinks are hilarious, I hope they make a movie of this so I can watch A Christmas Story and this back to back. ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
While this book is certainly not the next 'A Christmas Carol,' it is definitely a unique work which manages to capture the spirit of the season. The characters are lovable, with all their quirks and are surely destined to bring back great memories from an era just as classic as Christmas itself. ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Super fun fast read. Especially meaningful to Batavians as there are numerous references to our town. Between all the town references and all of the 80's references it was super fun. ...more
Zach Koenig
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty much everyone has seen "A Christmas Story", right? Well, swap out Ralphie's Red Ryder BB gun (1950s) for a Nintendo Entertainment System (1980s), and that is the gist of "8-Bit Christmas".

For a basic plot summary, this book tells the story of Jake Doyle a mid-80s grade schooler who wants a Nintendo more than anything else in the world. Of course, a series of events transpire against his one Christmas wish, leaving the fate of his NES quest undecided until the final pages.

Though I am actua
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kev Willoughby
Refreshingly nostalgic, and as heart-warming as it is side-splitting. This is one of the coolest, funniest, and best books I've read this year.

This book is to the 1980s what "A Christmas Story" / "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" was to the 1940s. Replace Ralphie Parker with Jake Doyle. Replace the Red Ryder BB Gun with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Instead of "You'll shoot your eye out, kid," you've got "Video games make you fat."

The references to the 80s are so rich, you'll smile as
Marc Storey
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are a male (probably) and of a certain age (definitely) then this will appeal if you had a desire for a games console for Christmas-i did- and this is about this and as I write (December) is poignant, funny and one of the best books of the year. Only because it means so much but also the way Christmas Day and the building dis written about, would mean more to our American cousins but even to this brit meant a whole bunch......
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book started off strong, but soon you could see that the story was heavily influenced by Christmas Story. Really seemed to have similar themes throughout. I did enjoy the book, but a lot of that was influenced from the Chicago references (although not sure how any Cub fan could spell Ryan Sandberg's name). ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Put A Christmas Story and The Goldbergs in a blender (and substitute Nintendo for the Red Ryder) and you have a very good idea of what this book entails. It's funny and nostalgic with fun characters and plenty of heart. Highly recommended to all 80s kids. *Mandatory 1 star deduction for poor Lacey Dog.* ...more
Dan Martin
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It tries to be A Christmas Story set in the 80's where Ralphie wants a Nintendo for Christmas instead of a Red Ryder BB Gun. It also tries to be a nostalgic story, but it doesn't quite hit the target on either point. A times the book reads like Wikipedia entries about classic NES games. ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure what happened at the end of this book. ...more
Mary Louise
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars.
Paul Liadis
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book really is A Christmas Story for the NES generation. It gets bumped up the 5 stars because I thought the ending was perfect.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2020
Such a great Christmas story! A boy's quest for a Nintendo. So many laughs here, and I love that it is set in a town not far from where I grew up. ...more
Amanda G. (Nellie and Co.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites-2013
I think when it comes down to Christmas themed books, you either love them, or you hate them, and for me, it's almost always a love. I can't help it. I love reading about other peoples family festivities, and their collapsing trees, and the presents they receive; it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside and that's exactly how 8-Bit Christmas made me feel. And fear not my fellow 90's friends, just because it's an 80's styled nostalgic trip down memory lane, doesn't mean you won't find things to eas ...more
Ricardo Sousa
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a safe passage to your childhood memories - and it doesn’t matter whether you fancied NES or if, like me, you could not care less about baseball cards!

The writing, especially in the beginning, reminded me a lot of ‘The Goldbergs’ TV series.

Overall, it’s entertaining, endearing and a great book to read to get into the Christmas spirit!

PS - No, I didn’t make it on purpose to write this review on Dec 31 🙄
Nov 22, 2013 rated it liked it
First, I'd like to thank Netgalley for the ARC.

8-Bit Christmas follows nine-year-old Jake, who just really wants a Nintendo for Christmas. It's the 80's, it's the cool new thing, and only the richest, most annoying kid in town has one. There's a fierce competition to use his Nintendo, culminating in children trading in their favorite toys for just a few minutes or hours of play. Jake's had enough of this nonsense and decides he's going to get his own Nintendo by whatever means necessary. He part
Romancing the Book
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas, fiction, humor
Reviewed by Marissa
Book provided by NetGalley for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Reminiscent of the movie A Christmas Story, 8-Bit Christmas is an up-dated version for the (almost) computer age as 8 year old Jake plots and schemes to get the brand new Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. By the time Nintendos came out in the early 1980′s I was a new mother so I bypassed that era altogether; however, I related to being a kid and wanting something so badly that I thoug
Chris N
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Timmy Kleen is the neighborhood rich kid. He gets what he wants and one day for his birthday he strikes kid gold, the newest thing around, a Nintendo Entertainment system.

It’s the late 80’s and Jack Doyle is 9 and his jaw drops, along with most of the neighborhood boys, when he sees what Timmy got for his birthday. Timmy announces that on Saturday mornings 10 boys, only 10, will be picked to spend the day with him playing with his new Nintendo. So starts the jockeying for prime positions in Timm
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
It can be hard to write a good Christmas book. There are already plenty of classic stories, not mention having to try and avoid classic Christmas story tropes that could relegate the book to being considered Christmas white noise. Couple these challenges with tackling your first book, and one begins to admire what Kevin Jakubowski accomplished with his debut novel, "8-Bit Christmas," a fun, nostalgic romp through days of Christmas past.

The story follows Jake Doyle's quest to get a Nintendo for C
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
With the announcement of the release of the BRAND NEW Nintendo 8-bit Entertainment System, Jake begins a quest to obtain this highly coveted game system and become the envy of his friends and neighbors. But, the arrival of the game at the home of another boy in town has unintended consequences, and Jake finds that his quest is being thwarted by not only his own parents, but by all of the adults in town! In the process, Jake must deal with everything from school bullies to an incredibly competiti ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
8-Bit Christmas is to children of the 80s what "A Christmas Story" was to children of the whatever decade that was (30s, 40s?). This time though there’s no Red Ryder BB gun. The only gun that any kid cares about is the one that allows you to play Duck Hunt on the Nintendo.

Timmy Kleen is the only kid in all of Batavia to have a Nintendo. One kid. No one really likes Timmy and yet here they find themselves begging to get inside his house. Jake Doyle doesn’t want to spend his life waiting in a lin
Bruce Gargoyle
Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Go on a journey with Jake Doyle, nine-year-old of the 80s, as he struggles to attain for Christmas the apparently unattainable and most desirable product of his life so far...the Nintendo Entertainment System.

This was bordering on a six-star read for me. Jakubowski has created a story that perfectly captures what it is to b
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When you’re nine, in the 80’s, you want nothing more than the brand new Nintendo 8-Bit Entertainment System, and nothing will stand in your way of getting it for Christmas. Jake, like every other 9-year old, wants this present under the tree so bad that he can hardly contain his desire. Shortly before Christmas season one of the richer boys in town gets a Nintendo, and Jake and his whole crowd line up each Saturday to see who will be one of the lucky ones chosen to play on the system that day. H ...more
Medeia Sharif
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jake Doyle wants a Nintendo for Christmas. It’s the 80’s and all his friends have to line up outside Timmy Kleen’s house, fawning over and bribing him to be let inside since he has the neighborhood's only Nintendo. The game system is hypnotic. But when something wacky, unexpected, and dangerous happens, Nintendo is banned in their small town of Batavia, Illinois.

There’s no stopping Jake from trying to get his own system, though. He’ll help his sister get a Cabbage Patch Kid if she helps him get
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's 1980-something and THE hot item for Christmas is the Nintendo Entertainment System. Jake Doyle is willing to forgo all the baseball cards in the world and hawk as many Christmas wreaths it takes to get a Nintendo. But a freak accident has all the parents decrying the violence of video games. Will Jake's quest for his dream gift be successful? Or will the princess be in another castle?

Typically I don't read seasonal novels. They tend to be a little too sentimental for my taste. However, as a
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A native of Batavia, Illinois, Kevin Jakubowski is a film and television writer best known for the Bruce Willis comedy Assassination of a High School President and for his work on the Comedy Central series Brickleberry. He has written and co-written scripts for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony and Fox and is currently developing his own animated series at Nickelodeon. He lives in Califo ...more

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