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Networked: Carabella on the Run Paperback – September 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–Carabella is blue. Literally. Her skin is the color blue. While she does her best to blend into college life and stay under the radar, her new friends Danielle and Alex notice that she has a real aversion to social networking websites. She also does not like sharing information about herself online in general. It turns out that Carabella is from another dimension, a place where individuals are branded with a color after their personalities are determined by similar technology. She meets Nick, who is developing a new kind of "soulshoe." This invention will monitor everything about a person and make it available online. While Cara rushes to stop this from happening, she must also contend with the Red Police, aggressive soldiers from her home who have come to reclaim her. The idea of this graphic novel–to educate readers about the dangers of giving up privacy online–is a noble one in theory, but it does little to make this tale contemporary and fun. Badger's art is extremely messy and incomplete, and lacks a real portrayal of the world Carabella is trying to save. While several science-fiction pop-culture references creep in, readers will realize that this story is more of an imitation of those tales than something original.Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This cautionary tale—a project of Privacy Activism, a group dedicated to online privacy education—outstrips simple purposefulness to provide a rip-roaring good story. Carabella, a curiously blue-skinned college student, tries to warn her fellow students about the data-mining nature of such ubiquitous contemporary trappings as social-networking sites, e-mail, and webcams. In the course of the story, her boyfriend creates novelty shoes that incorporate webcams and GPS, a government plot to spy on citizenry is revealed, and chase scenes and quick-thinking schemers abound. Taking full advantage of the comics medium, characterizations and scenes cleverly combine superhero visual metaphors with slacker posturing, dark cityscapes, and cluttered dorm rooms. Without resorting to didacticism or slowing the action, each character provides a point of view that requires careful reader evaluation to weigh the thoughtful mix of fact and opinion. This package offers much for casual readers as well as book groups and curriculum designers. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing; Original edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561635863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561635863
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,414,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on September 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Networked: Carabella On the Run
Exactly what is privacy?
Ever read the privacy/information sharing notices on the bottom of those user agreements?
Maybe you should.
Gerard Jones and Mark Badger examine the unlikely consequences of a seemingly random photo posted of the hair buns (from Star Wars) online. By the way, not only does Carabella have Carrie Fischer buns, but she is also blue. She is also cool, and claims to be raised by hippies. In the course of an English assignment, it becomes apparent that the commune she was raised in, is false. Her `buns' are alive, and during a date with Nick, she loses them, only to discover that the hair is part of his new shoe design that is raising eyebrows around the world. Carabella goes on the run to escape the Star Wars freaks after her, and the corporation trying to capitalize on the shoe technology.
Upon first glance, this is a book about technology. But on a deeper level, the shoes become analogies for social networks and once you realize that, this book takes on a deeper meaning. Back to my question.
What is privacy?
How do you escape detection by big brother?
Who do you trust?
Just like Synchronicity (the Police), Carabella discovers that her random action of tossing her hair has dire consequences. Loose lips used to sink ships, now loose hair threatens the world.
I highly recommend this book.

Tim Lasiuta
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