Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Frustrated with the censorship she encounters writing for the school newspaper, Zebby collaborates with friend, Amr, to launch an underground, online newspaper that will expose the truth about Truman School. Zebby envisions a site where students can discuss the new math curriculum, but the newspaper quickly morphs into online gossip when someone posts a malicious photo of Lilly, a popular eighth-grader. Determined to respect free speech and make the site everyone's newspaper, Zebby and Amr decide not to delete the post because It isn't any big deal. Told in shifting first-person narratives, the ramifications of cyber-bullying become clear as the story unfolds. Small icons, such as a crown for social queen Hayley and a reporter's notebook for Zebby, appear at the beginning of each narrative, helping to keep the multiple voices distinct. The characters are often painted with broad, flat strokes, particularly the popular girls, resulting in a book that reads like an after-school special but a especially timely and relevant one.--Harold, Suzanne Copyright 2008 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 5-8-Told not to write anything that would get the administration riled up, Zebby Bower becomes fed up and quits as editor of the school newspaper. Soon after, she and her friend Amr begin their own online newspaper, one that they hope will provide a true voice to the students of Truman Middle. It takes off, but in an unfortunate direction. When anonymous posts about popular Lilly Clarke start to get vicious, calling her a homo, a lesbo, and more, the devastated girl goes missing, and the site's creators scramble to figure out what to do. Chapters alternate among Zebby, Amr, and the students surrounding the scheme to ruin Lilly, each one providing a unique perspective as the action unfolds. With anonymous entries that subtly build suspense, the events brought about by this 21st-century slam book cause the characters to examine how the things they say and do can be hurtful to others without even realizing it. The story moves at a good pace and the timely subject of cyberbullying will be relevant to readers. The language is accessible and the students' voices ring true. This thought-provoking read is sure to initiate discussion.-Bethany A. Lafferty, Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.