Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 5, 2009
In ENTER (Neeman House, 2009), there are subtle lessons on deception and entrapment, some of the unfortunate characteristics of the world wide web.
More and more teens are now plugged into the Internet, tossing their surfboards for a less vigorous type of surfing. Yet, any conscious efforts at examining the risks involved are still few and far between.
Author IJ Goldman says he wanted to make the Internet real as if the reader was actually transported inside it. “That way, it creates the impression that the Internet is occupying actual physical space, and how you have to proceed with caution just as you would anywhere in the world.”
He adds that many children and young adults often have trouble determining whether something they experience on the ‘net has an impact on reality or not.
“We live in an age in which technology has allowed the line between reality and fantasy to become blurred,” Goldman says. “It’s taking a while for the adults to sit up and take notice of this.”
In the novel, Dillon, an insatiably curious teen, and his larger-than-life Grandpa, Harley, discover a way to enter Cyberia (a country in Cyberspace) from Dillon’s computer in the real world. Among other things, they encounter:
The subjects of biographies, like Beethoven and Babe Ruth, who come alive in a virtual bookstore.
Mild-mannered giant spiders, or more accurately, web crawlers, who are always on the road searching out sites and gathering data throughout Cyberia. (“Some of our best friends are Arachnids.”)
Arthur and Shirley, a retired couple, who spend six months of the year in Boca Raton, and the other six months in Cyberia to escape the Floridian heat.
Voracious worms, viruses and Trojan Horses intent on destroying whole domains.
And last, but certainly not least, the man who purports to help fight the viruses and worms, Morton McAfnee.
Morton enlists Dillon’s help in tackling a severe security threat that is expected to destroy all of Cyberia. Now, Dillon has a PDA that he brought with him from home. PDAs are illegal for Cyberians because of their potential to control Cyberia from within. Nevertheless, Morton asks that Dillon use it to eliminate the security threat.
Dillon and his Grandpa try to help all they can. But they are not at all prepared for the shocking discovery awaiting them.
Jill Williamson of Novelteen Reviews found the book to be “delightfully creative… entertaining and fun.”
But aside from the fun, it is the underlying notions of trust and mistrust becoming blurred in an online environment, that young readers might take notice of and incorporate as they continue to build their own online presence.