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Little Brotherby Cory Doctorow
Synopses & Reviews
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow's acclaimed YA science fiction novel, has been optioned for film by producer Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers, The Transformers). Long before the cameras roll on that feature, however, Little Brother has been adapted to the stage by Chicago's Griffin Theatre Company.
Marcus, aka "w1n5t0n," is only 17 years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works — and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
"SF author Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom), coeditor of the influential blog BoingBoing, tells a believable and frightening tale of a near-future San Francisco, victimized first by terrorists and then by an out-of-control Department of Homeland Security determined to turn the city into a virtual police state. Innocent of any wrongdoing beyond cutting school, high school student and techno-geek Marcus is arrested, illegally interrogated and humiliated by overzealous DHS personnel who also 'disappear' his best friend, Darryl, along with hundreds of other U.S. citizens. Moved in part by a desire for revenge and in part by a passionate belief in the Bill of Rights, Marcus vows to drive the DHS out of his beloved city. Using the Internet and other technologies, he plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse, disrupting the government's attempts to create virtually universal electronic surveillance while recruiting other young people to his guerilla movement. Filled with sharp dialogue and detailed descriptions of how to counteract gait-recognition cameras, arphids (radio frequency ID tags), wireless Internet tracers and other surveillance devices, this work makes its admittedly didactic point within a tautly crafted fictional framework. Ages 13-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In "Little Brother," Marcus Yallow and three tech-savvy friends skip school to play an alternate reality game that requires finding clues around San Francisco. But "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" soon morphs into a 21st-century take on George Orwell's "1984" when terrorists blow up the Bay Bridge. Because of the high-tech gear they're carrying, the four are picked up, brutally interrogated and detained... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) for almost a week by the Department of Homeland Security. Released and intimidated into silence, Marcus decides to strike back. He launches a teen-based cyberspace movement to circumvent the post-attack police state created by DHS. This novel brims with new and evolving technology, which may fascinate some readers and bog down others. But the well-integrated explanations, plot twists, humor and romance between Marcus and a "h4wt" (translation: "hot") geeky babe will keep this thriller humming along even for techno-duhs. Cory Doctorow tackles timely issues, including the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security. Hopefully, teens will pass this cautionary tale on to parents, teachers and government officials. Mary Quattlebaum's most recent children's book is "Sparks Fly High," a retelling of a colonial American folk tale. Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Cory Doctorow tackles timely issues, including the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security." The Washington Post
"This smartly written novel has the potential to launch powerful classroom discussions and change the way young people think about government." Children's Literature
"As with 'Big Brother' in George Orwell's 1984, this book will motivate the reader to contemplate free speech, due process, and political activism with new insights." Voya
"Teen espionage fans will appreciate the numerous gadgets made from everyday materials." School Library Journal
Big Brother is watching you. Who's watching back?
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. WHOS WATCHING BACK?
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller
Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until shes offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. Shes charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it's too late.
Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.
"Ford's The Cipher is a thrill-a-minute ride. A very cool read."--David Baldacci
You think your emails are private?
Your credit card number is secure?
That stock trades, government secrets, and nuclear codes are safe?
Robert Smiles” Smylie is not a genius. He feels like hes surrounded by them, though, from his software mogul dad to his brainy girlfriend to his oddball neighbor Ben, a math prodigy. When Ben cracks an ancient, real-life riddle central to modern data encryption systems, he suddenly holds the power to unlock every electronic secret in the world—and Smiles finally has a chance to prove his own worth.
Smiles hatches a plan to protect Ben from the government agents who will stop at nothing to get their hands on his discovery. But as he races from a Connecticut casino to the streets of Boston, enlisting the help of an alluring girl, Smiles comes to realize the most explosive secrets dont lie between the covers of Bens notebook—theyre buried in his own past.
Eerily close to reality and full of shocking twists, this techno-thriller reveals how easily the private can become public, and just how dangerous it can be to encrypt our personal histories.
About the Author
Cory Doctorow is a coeditor of Boing Boing and the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online, and Locus. He has won the Locus Award three times, been nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula, won the Campbell Award, and was named one of the Web's 25 influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He hopes you'll use technology to change the world.
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