Homeland

Homeland

Originally posted on Kid Lit About Politics.

Homeland by Cory Doctorow. Tor Teen (an imprint of MacMillan Publishing), 2013. 400 pages. Publisher recommends for ages 13 and older. ISBN: 9780765333698.

Homeland is a sequel to Little Brother. Marcus Yallow, still the narrator, is now 19 years old. He’s still dating Ange. His parents have lost their jobs in an economic crisis that has hit California. Marcus has had to drop out of college and is himself trying to find a job.

Marcus and Ange go to Burning Man in the Nevada desert. While there, Marcus runs into Masha, a character from Little Brother. She hands him a USB stick and tells him to release the contents of the stick onto the Internet if she is kidnapped. Shortly thereafter, Marcus sees her being forcibly led away from Burning Man by Carrie Johnstone, his arch nemesis.

There are 800,000 documents on the USB stick. Marcus and his friends try to figure out how to release those documents responsibly and in a way that can’t be traced back to them.

Marcus is offered a job by the charismatic Joe Noss, a candidate for the California State Senate running as an independent. Marcus believes in Joe. He believes California will be better off if Joe wins.

The book goes into a great detail of technical information about the Internet. It also goes into detail about the uses of the Internet. The central conundrum seems to be how to release the 800,000 documents anonymously and responsibly. It’s a conundrum Marcus didn’t ask for and doesn’t want. But the Internet is a powerful tool to disseminate information and Marcus knows how to use it. Along the way, we see the breakdown of society as we watch the way the city of San Francisco deals with peaceful protests.

The end is a little too pat for me. Besides that, the pace gets bogged down when Marcus explains technical details. Nevertheless, it deals head-on with political, economic and societal issues that are of immediate concern in this country.

The book contains two Afterwords that serve as calls to arms, one written by Jacob Appelbaum of WikiLeaks  and one written by the late Aaron Swartz. There is also an excellent bibliography by Cory Doctorow.

In the end, Marcus says “The system was people, and I was a part of it, part of its problems, and I was going to be part of the solution from now on.” This, I believe, is the take away line. In addition, the reader also takes away the memory of a fun story.

Blog Reviews:

Birth of a New Witch
A Librarian’s Take
Radish Reviews
System Overlord
Tor.com

Professional Reviews:

Kirkus
Publisher’s Weekly
Wired

Author Website:

Cory Doctorow’s Craphound.com

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Books, Social Justice & Reform and tagged , , , , by Liz Parrott. Bookmark the permalink.

About Liz Parrott

I love the Kid Lit community: the authors, the illustrators, the editors, the teachers, the librarians. I love the blogs, the listservs, the twitter feeds and the pinterest boards. I'm in the process of creating the Kid Lit Navigator. I'm hoping this website will be a reference tool for navigating the Kid Lit world. I have a second project, Kid Lit About Politics, which isn't getting the attention it deserves these days. All my time is going into Kid Lit Navigator. Kid Lit About Politics combines my love children's and YA literature and my love politics. It's a blog in which I review children's and YA lit about politics. I have a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MLIS from UC Berkeley. I worked for a time as a school librarian in a Montessori school.

3 thoughts on “Homeland

  1. The book sounds very interesting! I think it’s great that kids have these kinds of books to teach them about important issues in a way they can relate to and understand. Do grade schools have these kinds of books in their curriculum?

  2. Men have the choice of going for slim fit, regular fit and plus size shirts, and the style options
    that come with them will definitely stun you. Let’s do the Gangnam Style Dance and wear those awesome Gangnam Style Shirts.
    Every round starts with looking your best by
    dressing the part of a professional player.

  3. I`m perhaps not applied with the %BT% feel. I personally liked your written piece
    about this, instead of i be aware of the point. Intend To integrate some additional information, be sure to?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s