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YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2009/2010



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Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow


YAL Presenter Unit 2009/2010

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2009
Unit Created by: Daniel Laubacher


What makes this a good YAL choice...

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow explores (imho) the central question facing citizens in the 21st century: where is the line between privacy and security. Marcus (aka W1n5t0n) is a hacker/circuit bender whose boredom at school leads him to cut class on the day of a terrorist attack in San Francisco. The resulting state of martial law causes Marcus to recognize and subvert all manners of ways we can be tracked (toll booth transponders, transit cards, library books, email/ social media accounts) in order to rescue his friend, who is missing since being picked up by Homeland Security. A dystopian future that is really our past, this book provides a springboard for examination of a host of political and technical questions (What is the role of technology in our lives? Who controls us through our remote controls? Freedom isn’t free, but what is the cost of security?). Plus lots of gadgets explained? — Daniel Laubacher


YAL Conference Workshop Description
Watch Out for Little Brother: Privacy, Technology and Social Action in a “Post 9/11” World
Daniel Laubacher, Presenter

In the near future, terrorists attack Marcus’s city, San Francisco. He winds up being kidnapped, mistreated, interrogated. His best friend Darryl is still missing. Marcus uses his knowledge of technology and social networks (he is a little beyond Facebook) to derail his new nemesis, the organization that has Darryl. Unfortunately, Marcus’s nemesis is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Terrorism, freedom fighting, civil disobedience. Civil rights, privacy, national security. The world is increasingly complicated. The workshop for Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother will use some of the current social networking outlets (Twitter, Facebook, blogs), as well as a classroom drama technique (Radio Show) to explore some of the issues of privacy and politics facing a generation who were under ten on September 11, 2001. — Workshop Description for YAL 2009




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