by Cory Doctorow
It was just supposed to be a harmless afternoon of skipping school. Techno-geek Marcus bypasses the school security to escape with his friends to spend the afternoon playing games. But they certainly couldn't have known that a terrorist attack on San Francisco would change their lives forever. Picked up by the Department of Homeland Security, Marcus is held in an undisclosed location for 6 days and faces intense interrogation. When he is finally released, he is warned not to tell anyone where he has been. San Franciso is now little more than a police state and the DHS is controlling everything. Just how much of their privacy will the population give up to feel secure? Is there anyway that a group of teens can bring down the government? Should they even try?
Booktalk by Nancy Keane, Booktalks Quick and Simple
by Cory Doctorow
Marcus Yallow, high school student and computer genius, was at war with the Department of Homeland Security. No he wasn’t a terrorist. He was a victim of the war on terror..
Marcus and his best friend Darryl had ditched school that particular afternoon, to be part of a four-person team playing the Alternate Reality Game Harajuki Fun Madness. The team had just met up at the cable cars in downtown San Francisco when terrorists blew up the Bay Bridge and the BART. In the chaos and confusion that followed, Marcus and two other team members were captured and mercilessly interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security.
After being released Marcus found that San Francisco was being turned into a prison in the name of security. The DHS had the power to spy on, detain, and interrogate anyone they wanted. All the technology Marcus loved was being turned against the public to invade their privacy and make them feel powerless. Even worse, Marcus’s family was being torn apart by their differences over the crackdown.
The Department of Homeland Security had declared war on the privacy of everyone in San Francisco, the guilty and the innocent. Marcus could see that even if his father couldn’t.
What he also knew was that if you use it right, technology could help you fight back. It was time for a counterattack.
Marcus Yallow and a group of online rebels called the Xnetters are fighting back against the privacy and civil rights violations that have turned San Francisco into a prison. Their plans are risky, but they just might work.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
(booktalk by Tom Reynolds, librarian and author)
Last Updated: April 20, 2010