Sunday, June 24, 2012

We're at ALA!

Three of us, Regan, Claudio and Anja, are at the American Library Association's Annual Conference this weekend. Regan and Claudio are presenting our iPad pilot on Sunday afternoon -- come find us and say hello!

Details here: Touching Literacy: iPads in the school library serving incarcerated and detained youth

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guest Post: Feed by MT Anderson


Imagine a world where you don't need a computer to get onto the Internet. You're always on, because it is wired directly into your brain; this is the world of Feed by MT Anderson. Feed is set in a not-too distant future where going to the Moon is as easy as going downtown and where almost everyone has the Feed installed into their brains at birth.

The Feed is like having Facebook and Google Instant Messenger just by thinking about it. Don’t know what to buy? The Feed will tell you. Don’t know what to wear? The Feed will tell you. Don’t know what to say? The Feed will tell you.

This makes school pretty much a joke. You can look up anything you don’t know on the feed, so you really don’t need to study.

This is the world where Titus lives. He’s a 15 year old, bored, and looking for fun. He and his friends take a trip to the Moon for the weekend, but the moon turns out to totally suck...until he meets Violet.

Violet isn’t like anyone he’s ever met before. She didn’t have the Feed installed until she was older, so she can think for herself. She doesn’t just buy what the feed tells her is cool or use the slang the Feed tells her everyone is using. She asks questions that the Feed doesn’t want her to ask. Like why is the rest of the world so angry at us? Why am I only a good person if I buy things? And what is causing these strange, bloody, oozing, pussy lesions that everyone is getting on their bodies?

As Titus talks to Violet at a club on the moon, a hacker breaks into the Feed and hijacks their minds. The police beat him down, call him a terrorist, but Titus can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. It’s not just in his mind. Something has gone wrong with his Feed, and it looks like it might destroy him and Violet unless he can resist it.

But how do you fight your mind? How do you break out of the insanity that everyone around you thinks is normal? How do you save the girl you love from a world that wants to destroy her, and you, with it if you won’t obey.

Welcome to the Feed.

Fans of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and readers who have enjoyed The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner will find a lot to like in FEED. It's funny, exciting, and unforgettable. While the dystopian universe isn't nearly as violent as the world in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, it is in a way far scarier: it looks an awful lot like our own. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who's ever looked around and wondered if all our phones and gadgets are actually controlling us. --C. Alexander London

Guest blogger Mr. London is an acclaimed author of middle grade fiction and adult nonfiction.  Find out more at