Thursday, November 20, 2008

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

If you have a lot of computer savvy students who also like to read, this would be an excellent book for your collection. Marcus, who has always found a way around most school and parent controls through technology, uses his skills to regain som eprivacy and freedom after Homeland Security makes life difficult in the wake of a terrorist attack. Rich in all manner of computer lingo and hacking descriptions, this also has action, adventure, and a stick-it-to-the-man sort of vibe. That said, I couldn't finish this book and don't think I'll buy it for my library. It's very long and very technical, and my fantasy/sci fi fans usually run more to dragons. It would be fine for a middle school (the language and situations were okay as far as I read), but I fear the Summerland Effect-- it would get checked out only once a year.

Also read Wood's When Pigs Fly from 1995 which was okay. Girl's family falls on hard times and moves to farm. Sister has Down's Syndrome, best friend has uncaring parents and starts drinking, and neighbor boy's father has burned down house and fled, leaving the boy to live in a cave and earn his living selling at a flea market. How is this in print while Jason and the Gorgon's Blood is not?

One might ask the same qustion of Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter. This actually won the Coretta Scott King award in about 1986. An okay tale of a boy bonding with his grandfather, but a good half of the book is about the boy learning to cook and clean his room. No joke. I can't think that this would be interesting to any preteen boy.


  1. Ah. Summerland. I got about 1/2 way through it before giving up. Three years ago. I thought it was just me, since older son actually read it all the way through. Glad to see it's not just me...

  2. Hi Ms. Yingling -- "Croak" here from Toad Hill Reviews. Thanks for visiting our site. Can you email me with specifics about your difficulty reading our site on your browser? Thanks!

    PS We're huge Little Brother fans too, just to keep your post on topic!

  3. As far as Little Brother goes... I'm not remotely computer savvy, but I loved it. I dunno if it's necessarily what some would consider appropriate for middle schoolers (there's some sex...), but I would have been fine reading it then.


  4. Anonymous3:05 PM EST

    I saw Brother X yesterday. It looks interesting. I wonder how accurate the computer stuff is. Maybe I will have by husband read it. He is usually a little sceptical of books like these. If he likes it, then I know it's good.

  5. I liked Little Brother, but all the technical passages just made me want to take a nap.