Marcus, a tech savvy seventeen-year-old, has learned to outwit the surveillance tools his high school uses to keep students in line.
He’s reprogrammed his school-issued computer to allow him to surf the real internet, not just school-authorized spots. He knows better than to carry a library book where he doesn’t want to be tracked, because each one has an RFID for easy location.
With pebbles strategically placed in their shoes, he and his friends outwit the gait recognition cameras and sneak out of school for an afternoon of Harajuku Fun Madness.
Harajuku Fun Madness is the latest in online gaming out of Japan. Hi tech kids all over the world track clues both in cyberspace and here on earth, racing to win the reward of a trip to Japan for even more gaming
The game draws the kids across the bay to San Francisco, but before they find much the Bay Bridge blows
up. They and all the other tourists and worker bees are thrust into chaos. The BART transit system is shut down and nobody can escape the turmoil.
But what happens next, as authorities seek out the terrorists responsible, is even worse.
Doctorow has done his research into hi tech security, and obviously believes strongly in individual freedoms
and rights to privacy. The post-terror-attack world he paints, where Homeland Security has ultimate authority over us in the name of safety, makes the reader look around us here in our post-911 world.
The question is, how much are we willing to give up in the name of safety from terrorists, and how safe does it really make us?
Little Brother is suggested for ages 14 and up, and anyone who might like a peek at what could happen if we let the government go too far. I’m not saying I agree, but Doctorow definitely makes you think.