Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Technology On and Off

ChaseR: A Novel in Emails - (ISBN: 978-0763615383)

by Michael Rosen

The writer of this book skillfully creates vivid characters through the email messages one character sends to his friends after he moves away and his sister is away at college. Adding to the reader’s interest is the extension of email symbols and “smileys” that the creative teenager uses in his individual and group missives. What textboard “pictures” and “symbols” can you create? Do you remember how young you were when you discovered “emoticons”?

Feed - (ISBN: 978-0763622596)

by M.T. Anderson

Imagine a world where your daily web-surfing and TV are hotwired into brains at birth! Then ask yourself what life would be like if you constantly heard ads for jeans and travel to Mars. In Feed’s world, teens hear a constant murmur of the day’s sales and feel the urge to purchase without thinking. Chats no longer have to be typed; they are just communicated from head to head as they come into the teens’ minds. And finally, read the book to see what happens when a “normal” teen equipped with the never-ending feed meets a girl who thinks for herself.

Hacking Harvard - (ISBN: 978-1416936336)

by Robin Wasserman

Three tech-savvy friends bet a group of enemies that they can get an underachieving slacker acquaintance into Harvard by hacking into its computer system. Of course the book comes with the expected warning not to try their techniques at home! With a surprise ending and plenty of plot twists, this book will engross tech lovers and technophobes alike.

Little Brother - (ISBN: 0765319853)

by Cory Doctorow

Marcus and his teen-aged friends clash with a super-controlling Department of Homeland Security in a San Francisco we would not recognize today. Cameras at every corner and listening devices have eroded the citizens’ civil freedoms. Marcus and his pals, all expert hackers, fight back using their laptops, cell phones, and WifFnders. Talk about whether the world created by Doctorow is so very different from ours today.

The Difference Engine - (ISBN: 978-0553294613)

by William Gibson

View the world of London, 1855, and the way people in the 19th century imagined computers would be! Advocates of the then contemporary machines and engines (computers) compete with Luddites (those hating technology of any form). Compare Gibson’s vision of a modern technological world with the one we live in today.

Be More Chill - (ISBN: 978-0786809967)

by Ned Vizzini

Neuromancer - (ISBN: 978-0441012039)

by William Gibson

Nugrl90 - (ISBN: 978-0761453963)

by Suzanne Dellesega

Snow Crash - (ISBN: 978-0553380958)

by Neal Stephenson

Something to Blog About - (ISBN: 978-0810994744)

by Shana Norris

The Bar Code Tattoo - (ISBN: 978-0439395625)

by Suzanne Weyn

The Giver - (ISBN: 978-0385732550)

by Lois Lowry

Activities for this Theme

Try a no-tech family time each week. Turn off everything electric or battery powered for an hour or two and see what else you can do together!

If your family owns a video camera, try using it as a microscope.

Try to comprehend the size of various things in the universe with this comparative website. Click on each object after the start page to get info and a comparison between it and other familiar objects.

Create an online scrapbook to which you can add music and video clips.

Read about who created the first electronic smiley

Enjoy some of the virtual exhibits at this online museum about science and technology.