[Kc] Book Review: Hackerteen Volume 1: Internet Blackout

Garrett Goebel ggoebel at goebel.ws
Tue Sep 23 12:56:06 PDT 2008

Title: Hackerteen Volume 1: Internet Blackout
Author: Marcelo Marques and the Hackerteen Team
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Pages: 101
ISBN: 978-0-596-51647-5
Rating: 7/10
Summary: wish fulfillment tween/teen boy hacker fantasy

Read on for a tag team daughter/father review of O'Reilly's Hackerteen 
Volume 1: Internet Blackout

[10 year old daughter]

Hackerteen is a comic book about a boy named Yago, who has exceptional 
computer skills. His worried and clueless parents enroll him in a school 
for hackers, which has a reputation for teaching hackers to use their 
skills for good (white hat hacker school).

I think it was a very good idea to make something that kids will read 
that shows the good side of the word _Hacker_. I personally thought it 
should have had some twists or something of the sort that would make it 
less predictable. I can see that the girl that Yago helped out is going 
to turn into something but she is obviously not a hacker. There is a 
girl hacker on the Yago's team but she doesn't really do anything. All 
we girls out here need girl role models. All in all I think it's a good 
idea yet it still needs a little help to get it on the right path.

[Her old man's take]

Hackerteen is a good guy hacker story for tween and teen boys. Young boy 
becomes good guy uberhacker, fights bad guys, faces moral dilemmas, 
saves the family, and tries to win the girl. The plot and character 
development are fairly 2 dimensional. The other downside is that girls 
are portrayed as weak, beautiful, and contribute little beyond needing 
to be saved.

Tossed into the mix are footers with url links for interested kids to 
find out more about technological and organizational references. There 
is a lot of not so subtle healthy propaganda against the abuses of big 
business and central governments. But not much more than the 
anti-establishment vigilantee leanings you'll find in your typical comic 

Two things I liked very much were that the hero, Yago, isn't perfect. He 
makes a bad choice and has to deal with the consequences. Also, in the 
end, the bad guys are defeated not through the heroic efforts of a 
single individual, but by people working together.

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