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Publishers Weekly, 2005-05-23 "The promise of the modern age is that information equals power, and in this entertaining and thoughtful tale, that notion is put to the test," according to PW. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-11-03 The promise of the modern age is that information equals power, and in Wilhelm's (Raising the Shades) entertaining and thoughtful tale, that notion is put to the test. Three seventh-graders-a mousy boy with the unfortunate last name Gekewicz, a half-Filipina girl named Catalina and the always tongue-tied Russell-have had their fill of being bullied, and Catalina posts a letter on the school network to squelch rumors being circulated about her by the popular girls. The letter strikes a chord with the downtrodden of Parkland (nicknamed Darkland) middle school; before long, students are sending their own reports to the three underground publishers, who issue electronic editions of "The Darkland Revealer." It seems to work: raised awareness causes a drop in bullying. Wilhelm develops the story in surprising ways, and if not all the action seems fully credible, most of the dynamics here reflect secure knowledge of middle-graders and their behavior. He raises compelling arguments, including a fascinating discussion of whether or not wartime Jews would have been better able to face their persecutors if the Internet had been available to them. The book's deepest point comes early on, though, and it is breathtaking: "If one adult did this to another, he'd be in jail. Why should it be different for kids?" asks Russell's mother after a particularly brutal incident. "I don't know," comes the chilling reply, " 'Cause we're kids?" Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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