Sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was an ordinary Londoner until an attack that caused fragments of an iPhone to be embedded in his brain, giving him incredible knowledge and power, but using that power against the gang that attacked him and a friend could have deadly consequences.
- ISBN: 9780545317689
- Author: Brooks, Kevin
- Published: 2011 , The Chicken House
- Themes: gang, Interpersonal relations, Superhero, violence
- Descriptors: Awards, England (UK), Fantasy, Science Fiction, USBBY Outstanding International Book, Young Adult (ages 14-18)
- No. of pages: 304
One thought on “Iboy”
I am not sure what to say about iboy, Marilyn! Starting it was of great interest, I mean, think about what it might really mean to be “hooked up” electronically to everything! The power would be incredible. As the novel moved along, I felt as though I was reading a superhero comic, which quickly became a James Bond movie (and interestingly, James Bond was referred to in the text), and then eventually I came to see this as a morality play that does address the concepts of good and evil, how to live in the world, and ultimately, what is the right thing to do when confronted with so much violence, crime, and unsavory living. It would be a very interesting read to do with adolescents just so those issues could be discussed. Those issues along with urban living, schooling, the working poor, and the sense that sometimes the cycle doesn’t look like it could ever be disrupted.
The novel does beg the question, “Does it take a superhero to reduce the violence often confronted by those living in areas where gang warfare, drug-addiction, and urban squalor seem to rule the day?” Or, is this book a catharsis for anyone who feels as though there is little to be done about whatever dire circumstance they might be confronting even though it may not be as pervasive as the environment in iboy? I think we all have either wished we were superheroes or just someone who could make a difference in the world. I am just not sure iboy get us to an answer, but as I noted, it would allow for some great dialogue.
You made me think about iboy with a whole new perspective. Is the book saying that without superhuman powers individuals can’t take actions that will change current conditions? When I consider popular movies, like James Bond, they portray heroes with superman like powers and comic book weaponry. These heroes solve problems by themselves. We don’t see popular media showing current problems solved by collaborative actions. That is one of my problems with iboy – that the hero acts alone. I am also thinking of our recent election for president. I heard so many people say they were disappointed in Obama during the last four years. It makes me wonder if we put unrealistic expectations on our leader, wishing that he had superhuman powers. When he doesn’t manifest such powers we are disappointed. Well, as you write this book would be a great one to generate discussion in the classroom.
Your connection to our national leadership is apt, Marilyn. It takes collaborative action and a sense of a collective vision that will make change. Can an individual start it? Sure, but it takes many to move a nation. For example, Gandhi, who many think of as an individual who made change, actually needed many others willing to take individual agency as part of a collective vision. Our nation often refers solely to the individual, it is our historical “unit of measure.” So, iboy fits that cultural model. The reality, however, is that it is rarely an individual who makes change. But, with the help of others, who work with a common vision, change can be made. Again, this is great stuff to talk about with adolescents. So, in essence, iboy was a tour of many genres and led to many questions. Fun stuff!