Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
I had no idea when I bought this book how interesting the author Cory Doctorow is. You have to check out these two sites: http://craphound.com/ (where you can download his books for free on just about any platform imaginable- if you happen to have an iTouch- it would be worth getting the Kindle app and downloading the books to read right on your touch!) and http://boingboing.net/ (which has to be the strangest blog I've ever read- but at the same time- I really like it!)
In Little Brother- Marcus is your typical 17 year old gamer. He knows how to make technology work for him and he uses it to his advantage to play different online games. But when terrorism strikes in San Francisco- he and his friends are swept up in a raid and accused of being terrorists. When Homeland security finally releases them, things have really changed for Marcus. Suddenly the freedom he is use to is gone. Now, Marcus realizes how much power Homeland security has and how they are using technology to track and monitor the kids. Marcus starts fighting back. He starts using his knowledge of technology to outsmart the government- but it is a very risky move.
I found this book slow in places- I was a bit frustrated with Marcus constantly explaining how the technology worked- and I didn't really understand it. I also had a hard time figuring out when this story took place. There were lots of times it felt like present day, but the technology was too advanced for that to be true. Having said all that, just when I was about to give up on the book, I pushed through and found myself really wrapped up in the story and Marcus' quest to gain back personal rights for all.
I think it would be interesting to have a discussion with some tech savvy kids about their thoughts on this. There are lots of interesting points for discussion.