Little Brother

ISBN: 978-0-7653-1985-2

Cory,Doctorow,little Brothers, New York: Tor Books, 2008, print.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Reviewed by Caleb Nguyen

Recommended Audience: middle school and high school

Mark Yallow is a 17 year-old senior who is a tech geek and a leader of 3 friends. His tech name is W1nston which later changes to M1K3Y.  He attends Cesar Chavez high school. One day Marcus gets accused by the principle of hacking into the school. The principle threatens to call the police but Marcus isn’t scared because he knows there isn’t evidence against him. Due to the lack of evidence he is let go free of charge. Later however, Marcus, Jolu, Vanessa, and Darryl ditch school to go play an online role  playing game that involves quest. While on the quest the worst terrorist attack has happened and everyone runs to shelter. While they are overrun by the crowd  of fleeing citizens Darryl gets stabbed so the four friends flee to find an ambulance. Instead of an ambulance coming a military looking vehicle arrives and they were caught at the wrong time at the wrong place.

Three men come out and put bags over the kid’s heads. The men were part of the Department of Homeland Security. A woman described as severe haircut lady interrogates Marcus. Even though they said they would release him if he unlocked his phone he kept claiming to see his lawyer. Because he was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time they were suspected of the terrorist attack. Marcus gets tested 6 times before he is released because he finally tells them his phone password. Later that day he pees his pants. After 6 days of interrogation everyone but Darryl is released. When they are released Marcus is told that he will be monitored at all times because he is still a suspect. Marcus is furious that they ignored his right so he plans to seek revenge against the Department of Homeland Security. Marcus holds a meeting for anyone who wants to join to fight a rebellion against the DHS. He brings his only laptop so that everyone can make a key for their Xnet account where he can tell them plans to bring down the DHS. During the meeting he meets a girl named Ange whom he begins to like. After everyone has made their keys and tooken a picture of it he smashes his laptop with a hammer to show that he is not with the DHS and that way there won’t be evidence of what happened. The four friends split up when Marcus told them about his idea to take down the DHS, so he is all alone. Marcus and Ange start dating and were boyfriends and girlfriends. Marcus tells Darryl’s parents about what happened to him and how his whereabouts are unknown.

At first Marcus doesn’t even tell his parents about what happened, but eventually he cracks and tells his mom. They come up with an idea to bring their story to Barbara Stratford so she can publish it in the Bay Guardian newspaper. Marcus bumps into a guy named Zeb who hands Marcus a note telling him that he was in the same cell as Darryl. Zeb escaped but Darryl is still stuck. His letter was given to Barbara as evidence. A worker for the DHS named Masha claims to be tired of working for the wrong people so instead of trying to capture Marcus offers to keep him safe becuse Barbara Stratford revealed Marcus’s identity. Marucs creates a diversion by telling his followers that there is a vampire game.  He is told to wear a red hat. Marcus and Ange try to escape but Ange is lost among the crowd. So Marcus has no choice but to follow Masha. During their journey to a secret base Marcus sneaks away from Masha and finds two kids in whom he befriends. When he reveals that he is M1k3y his Xnet name they start to idolize him. He goes to their house to use their Xnet to try to find Ange. During his stay he sleeps for a little and replies to Zeb’s email about finding a safe place to hide until everything is over.

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