Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

11 Dec


Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Tor, 2008. 382 pages. ISBN 978-0-7653-1985-2

Plot Summary:

Seventeen year old w1n5t0n, aka Marcus, is a techno-geek. If it deals with technology, he can do it. He and a few of his friends like to play live action role playing games (LARP). So, when he discovers a clue that needs to be examined, he immediately plots his escape from school. Not a very hard thing to do for Marcus, it’s just a matter of putting rocks in his shoes to get past the gait recognition security and he is home free. Him and a friend sneak off campus and meet up with their two other friends for the clue. Except while cracking down on the clue, there is a bombing on the bridge close by and then everybody goes into panic mode and everything become chaotic. While everybody is trying to get to safety, Marcus’s friend is stabbed in the side, so they run outside for help. They wave down a military car and instead of getting help Marcus and his friends are all impounded and accused of being the bombers. And that’s just the start of it all.

Critical Evaluation:

Science fiction just got a whole lot better. No spaceships and aliens, or alternate realities and new worlds, just a megaton of technology and a techno-geek named w1n5t0n, aka Marcus. Marcus is an extremely intelligent guy when it comes to all things technology. He can evade school security, confuse gait-recognition cameras, and hack into just about any computer. This book is every computer nerds dream. The vocabulary consists of a lot of technological jargon that you may or may not understand, but makes for a really interesting read and oddly enough the story is still easy enough to follow and quite entertaining. After being held captive for a crime they didn’t do, Marcus and his friends try to make a political statement that will disrupt the government’s safety tactics and hopefully improve upon them so there are less mistakes. Doctorow writes about what he knows and in doing so has created a riveting story that will capture the minds of young readers of the digital native generation who are familiar with computers and technology.

Reader’s Annotation:

Have you ever been wrongfully accused of a crime because the government’s security measures aren’t very effective? Well, when Marcus and his friends are wrongfully arresting and accused of being terrorist, he fights back at the government.


Cory Doctorow, born July 17, 1971 in Ontario, Canada, is a father of a little girl named Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow. He is also a blogger, technology activist and a science fiction author/novelist. He is co-editor to Boing Boing, a weblog. He contributes to several periodicals and he used to be the Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is a non-profit technology activist organization. He was the co-founder to OpenCola, an open source peer-to-peer Software Company. And he serves on the boards and advisory boards of several non-profit foundations and organizations that are geared towards making the world more aware and updated to technological advances.

He is the winner of the Locus (3 times) and Sunburst Awards and a nominee of the Hugo, Nebula, and British Science Fiction Awards. Forbes Magazine named him one of the top 25 influencers of the web. His novels can be found in dozens of languages and on the Internet for re-use and sharing under a Creative Commons License. His young adult novel, Little Brother, is a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award, and the Indienet Award. In 2008 it was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst, and Locus Awards. All of his novels are available online under Creative Commons Licenses.


Science Fiction

Curriculum Ties:

Social Studies

American Government/Security

Booktalking Ideas:

How up to date are you on technology?

What’s your take on government security?

Marcus has just been detained and held for being a terrorist.

Reading Level/Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this book:

It is a really good book even though it took me a bit to understand all of the techno-lingo. Plus we read it for class.

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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


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