Tag Archives: hackers

Bloody Monday – hacker boy & friends fight terrorists

bloody mondayTitle: Bloody Monday

Authors: Ryou Ryumon & Kouji Megumi

Summary: High school hacker boy and friends fight terrorists after police dad is framed.

Gut reaction: Ugh characters, hackers are cool, overpowered high schoolers, biological terrorism, Russia, conspiracy

Why: The characters are all two-note, ability and character center. For example, one of the high schoolers, a kid called Kujou, pretty much has only two things going for him: his ability to take down armed terrorists with a freaking bow and arrow, and his obsessive hatred of terrorists which no normal high school student should have. So the characters aren’t developed.

I do like that the main character has potential to develop into a kid who is reckless and doesn’t understand that it isn’t a game which will lead to character development, but the manga is too focused on showing off the awesomeness, so I don’t think that’ll happen. The students are all overpowered. I’m sorry, I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine teenagers can’t hack into the government’s most secure database in, like, five minutes. The story is gearing up for a conspiracy and the high school students are going to end up taking it down in a suitably dramatic way, I can tell.

Who would like this book: Shounen fans, conspiracy fans, hacker fans, shock factor fans. I’ll keep reading ‘cause hackers are freaking awesome to read.  What does this say about me…

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle



Book Shorts: Alif the Unseen

Alif the UnseenTitle:  Alif the Unseen
Author:  G. Willow Wilson

Summary:  Alif, a half-Indian, half-Arab hacker living in a generic Islamic military country, is forced to flee his home after his aristocratic ex-lover gives him a mystical book supposedly written by inhuman hands. He and his childhood friend have to hide from the government’s omnipotent Internet security program, and end up being aided by an enigmatic jinn, an American scholar, a holy man, and a famous hacker prince.

I started reading it because…  Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so it caught my eye.

I kept reading because… I liked the Internet culture setting and the realistic personality of the main character. I enjoyed the analysis of the hacking community’s response to events such as the Egyptian revolution and the detention and persecution of fellow hackers.

If the main character were stuck on a deserted island, they would…  freak out about having no Internet while trying in vain for cell phone reception.

Six Word Review:  Hacker, jinn oppose government with book.

This book reminded me of Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher because they both wove magic and harsh reality together in a middle eastern setting.

Websites of interest:  Alif the Unseen

— review by Lexie, West Seattle teen volunteer WTS

Revolutionary Reads

GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore:  In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.



Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.



Summer PrinceThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: In a Brazil of the distant future, June Costa falls in love with Enki, a fellow artist and rebel against the strict limits of the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Três’ matriarchal government, knowing that, like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.



Little Brother

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow:  After being interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus is released into what is now a police state and uses his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.



OrleansOrleans by Sherrie L. Smith:  Set in a futuristic, hostile Orleans landscape, Fen de la Guerre must deliver her tribe leader’s baby over the Wall into the Outer States before her blood becomes tainted with Delta Fever.




Fire in the StreetsFire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon: In the aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Chicago fourteen-year-old Maxie longs to join the Black Panthers, whether or not her brother Raheem, ex-boyfriend Sam, or her friends like it, and is soon caught up in the violence of anti-war and civil rights demonstrations.



Five 4ths of JulyFive 4th of Julys by Pat Raccio Hughes:  On July 4th, 1777, Jake Mallory and his friends are celebrating their new nation’s independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances as he battles British forces, barely survives captivity on a prison ship, and finally returns home, war-torn and weary, but hopeful for America’s future.


Aristotle and Dante DiscoverAristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz:  Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.



Poetry Speaks Who I AmPoetry Speaks Who I Am:  Poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you and becomes a part of you. Poetry can be life-altering, gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking.  This  is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you.

Four on a Theme: Hackers

 One of our teen scavenger hunt books is Little Brother, which is about three friends who get caught up in an anti-terrorism sweep by Homeland Security after some real terrorists blow up a bridge in San Francisco.  What is special about these three teens is that they know more about computer technology than the police forces who have captured them and are questioning them, and when the questioning turns to torture, the teens decide to turn the tables on the government.


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