Monday, July 11, 2011

"LIttle Brother" by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow really has a story to tell and a lesson to impart, and it does it well.

Marcus is a normal 17-year-old high school student in San Francisco. The country is still recovering from the shock of the 9/11 attacks in New York City, but like most teens, Marcus has bounced back a bit more quickly than his parents. One day, he decides to skip school. He plans on meeting with some friends when the unthinkable happens: A terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the chaos following the attack, Marcus and his friends are picked up by Homeland Security and held as possible terrorists.

This book speculates on what could happen if one agency is given too much power. Its also a paean to civil disobedience and what happens when seemingly clueless kids are pushed too far. I really liked this book. The central characters are well written, and the premise is chillingly possible. My only problem with this book is that once you get away from the central characters, especially when you get to the adults, they are a tad flat. Possibly this was done on purpose to further isolate Marcus and his friends, I don’t know. They aren’t zombies by any stretch, just not as fully realized as the central players.

I fully recommend Little Brother, it is smart, witty, well-written and timely.

 (I first read Little Brother a few months ago. This review is based on a re-read.)

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