This criminal show follows a team that tracks criminals who are using technology to commit their crimes. One of the newest members of this team is Brody Nelson, a convicted hacker who uses his computer skills to catch cyber criminals. If Brody were to walk in today and ask for a good book to read, this is what I’d offer him:
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2009 Best Books for Young Adults) is an obvious choice. After a major terrorist attack, Marcus and his friends are suspected of orchestrating the attack due to their skills as hackers. Although Marcus is cleared of wrongdoing, he has to use his hacking skills to rescue one of his friends who was not so lucky.
Feed by M.T. Anderson (2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults). Titus doesn’t think much about his feed, the information downloaded directly into his brain, until a hacker implants a virus and causes him to live without his feed for several days.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. Alex is stuck in the middle of a terrorist plot and is given government technology to solve the mystery of his uncle’s murder.
Jennifer Goverment by Max Barry. Hack Nike finds himself in over his head when he signs a contract without reading it and discovers he’s tasked with murdering teens on the street to increase his company’s profits, and the police are no help.
Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly by Conrad Wesselhoeft. Arlo is a master gamer, and his skills in an online drone game attract the attention of the government. Arlo is glad for the money he can bring to his family, but he’s hesitant to control a drone that may be used to kill people, even people he’s never met.
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (2014 Teens Top Ten). Michael is a gamer who spends most of his free time in his “coffin,” a pod that allows him to experience near-reality in his gaming. When the government asks Michael to use his programming expertise to catch an in-game killer, he can hardly refuse. But will he be able to catch the killer without themselves being killed?
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (2014 Teens Top Ten). David has vowed to avenge his father’s death at the hand of Steelheart, the most powerful supervillian the world has ever seen. But in a world full of supervillians, he’ll need help to accomplish his goal.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2012 Alex Award). Wade is obsessed with his MMO called Oasis, and he thinks he can solve the puzzle the creator left within. But can he do it before other players, those who might be willing to kill him to win?
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid. Tom’s gaming skills have come in handy during the war. He is now a popular member of the Intrasolar Forces, but at what cost?
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (2008 Margaret A Edwards Award). Ender is one of the child geniuses taken from Earth and trained to be a soldier in the war against the Formic aliens. Ender’s the best soldier Battle School has ever seen, and he might be the only hope Earth has in this war.
–Jenni Frencham, currently reading Flawed by Cecillia Ahern