This evening following the weekly Seedlings’ webcast on EdTechTalk, Bob Sprankle created the group “Book Talk: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow” on the Seedlings Ning. If you’re not familiar with the ideas and writing of Cory Doctorow, have never read one of his freely downloadable eBooks, or have not participated in a virtual online book talk, this Seedlings’ group provides a great opportunity do all three of these things at once.

Before downloading the book and joining the Ning group, however, I’m sure you’d like to know more about Cory’s book, “Little Brother.” According to the book’s website “about” page:

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Sound interesting? I think so. Head over to Cory’s website and download the free eBook, then join Bob’s book talk Ning group and get ready to participate in some lively discussions in the weeks ahead. :-)

Self-directed learning with free digital eBooks and learning communities? We must be living in the twenty-first century. We certainly couldn’t do this sort of thing when I was a student in schools in the last century.

ADDITION: I was able to download the eBook version of “Little Brother” to my iPhone using the free application “eBookReader” and the app’s built-in site support for manybooks.net. I downloaded it in eReader format.

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  • kevin

    “Little Brother” is certainly worth reading. I’d recommend buying a copy, so that the author gets the royalties (that’s what our family did). It is also still a lot easier to read documents to that length on paper.

    For children reading “Little Brother” it may also be a good idea to read Orwell’s “1984”, since there are a number of places where the author assumes familiarity with that work.

  • http://www.bobsprankle.com Bob Sprankle

    Wes,

    Thanks for advertising the group! I’m looking forward to it :)

    I also recommend a hard copy version. I love having both; if I’m caught somewhere waiting without my hard copy, I always have my phone with me!

    I’ve been using Stanza to put etext on my phone: http://www.lexcycle.com/

    Bob

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