July 16, 2012

Review: Little Brother



I remember the hoopla when Cory Doctrow released his book Little Brother online for free. At the time, I wasn't reading young adult novels, so I skipped it.  BIG mistake. I think this book should be required reading in high schools. Unfortunately, that's unlikely to happen due to some adult content int he book. Of course, that would make it more attractive to teens, but objectionable to many parents.

This is the story of Marcus, an average 17 year old with an above average knowledge of the internet and gadgets. When skipping school to play an alternate reality game one day, he and some friends are caught outside during a terrorist attack on San Francisco. Thinking he might be a suspect, Marcus is abducted by Homeland Security and interrogated and tortured in a secret government facility. Marcus takes various measures to ensure his freedom in a world where freedoms are being taken away left and right and everyone is considered a potential terrorist. He becomes a folk hero and a target of the Department of Homeland Security.

The book was suspenseful and full of history and computer science worded in easy to understand English. I highly recommend this book for all teen readers and above. Regardless of your politics, it sends a strong message about freedom and civil liberties.

This review is based on a freely downloaded copy available on Cory Doctrow's website.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

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