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Want to Go Private? Hardcover – August 1, 2011

96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Want to Go Private?

"[A] harrowing cautionary tale about the dangers that lurk online." —Publishers Weekly

"[C]ompulsively readable . . . a realistic portrayal of the sordid nature of predators." —School Library Journal

"Want to Go Private? is a bold investigation of a potentially lethal, if common, mixture for teen girls: emotional immaturity, technology and emerging sexuality." —The Los Angeles Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sarah Darer Littman, writer, mother, and unpaid chauffeur, is a living example of the cliche, "Life Begins at 40." After spending much of her adult life doing things she didn't really plan to, including such diverse occupations as financial analyst and farmer's wife, she at long last found her true calling as a writer. Her first novel, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, won the 2006 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers. Her novel Life, After was a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and won 1st prize for YA fiction in the CT Press Club annual awards. She is also the author of Purge, named one of Bank Street College of Education's 2010 Best Books of the Year and the Want to go Private? In addition to writing for teens, Sarah is an award-winning columnist for Hearst Newspapers (CT) and
Sarah lives in CT with her family.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545151465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545151467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of Backlash, Want to Go Private?; Life, After; Purge; and Confessions of a Closet Catholic, winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award. When she's not writing novels, Sarah is an award-winning columnist for the online news site She teaches creative writing as an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University, and with Writopia Lab. Sarah lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on July 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Want to Go Private? is a train wreck. In a really good way. I mean, it's like watching a train wreck, you know? You can't look away, even though you know it's going to go horribly wrong.

Abby, transitioning from middle school to high school, makes some terrible, terrible decisions - some that so many teens make. And her feelings - totally understandable, extremely relatable. But oh my god, her decisions.

The writing in this book is great. I really felt like I was reading from Abby's point of view - I understood her, I felt for her. But I also wanted to shake her and take away her computer.

Want to Go Private? is an amazing book. The fact that Sarah Darer Littman can take such an upsetting subject matter and turn it into a book that should be required reading for all teenagers (not just girls - it doesn't happen to only girls) is amazing to me. The issues raised in this book have only been talked about recent years and Want to Go Private? is definitely going to help fuel the discussion and bring light to those issues.

I know this isn't a very eloquent review, but it's hard for me to review a book like Want to Go Private? The quality of the book itself is excellent - I thought all the characters (not just Abby) had enough backstory to make them interesting and more real to me, the voice was very well done, and the storyline was absolutely enrapturing. And if that isn't enough for you to pick up this book, the significance of this book to teens today should be. I highly recommend Want to Go Private?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By The Figment Review on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
by Victoria Testa

Abby's life appears to be splitting at the seams. High school is proving to be even more torturous than middle school. Her best friend, Faith, is making new friends and leaving Abby in the dust. Her relationship with her bratty sister is deteriorating, and her parents just don't seem to understand or care about the problems she is facing. In fact, no one really seems to care.

But then Abby meets Luke.

The age difference aside, Abby slowly starts to fall for this boy in her computer screen. He is funny, sweet, and charming. Best of all, he listens to Abby. Luke seems to understand exactly what is going on in her life. He is there for her, when no one else is. Luke becomes Abby's beautiful secret where she can build a perfect life with him in the comfort of her own bedroom. Is Abby falling for the man of her dreams? Or, is she just falling into a web of lies and secrets beyond her imagination?

Want To Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman is not an easy beach read. It handles heavy themes that, although mature at times, should be read by everyone. I strongly believe in the message of this novel, and I think that the more people read this book, the fewer teenagers will suffer the devastating effects of internet predators.

Despite the myriad problems Abby faces, her most crippling one is the feeling of being misunderstood or ignored. She feels like no one wants to hear about the situations she faces. This is not an uncommon feeling among adolescents. Many teenagers fear that they won't be understood, because most of them don't understand themselves yet. The teenage years are supposed to be a period to grow and find yourself. But you don't have to do that alone.

Want To Go Private? is a realistic fiction at its best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Darer Littman's Want to Go Private? is a chilling account of the how a teenager falls prey to an adult predator. It easily fits the category of books like Barry Lyga's Boy Toy or Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl, where manipulation of teenagers, of how they feel and act in their immaturity, can be so easily taken advantage of. This is a book that left me shaken because it is all too real.

Abby isn't quite ready for high school. She'd much prefer for things in her life to stay the same, but unfortunately no one else she knows and trusts will listen to her. They are ready to move full steam ahead: her best friend, Faith, Abby's parents, even Abby's annoying younger sister. Abby feels like there is no one who will listen to her but she unexpectedly meets someone online who does listen, who empathizes and who seems to truly see how wonderful Abby is. Unfortunately, this guy, Luke, is nothing but a lie.

This book may be labeled as fiction but unfortunately, from what I know of internet predators via Dateline or 20/20, this is an all too accurate portrayal of how these men (and probably women?) groom teens by playing into their fears, by becoming their confidantes, and by isolating them. This book is not for every teenager nor is it necessarily for school libraries (though I actually think, if politics and parents weren't so heavily involved, this SHOULD be on the shelves) but it is a message more teenagers need to read because this exploitation is happening.

I felt the book was well-written and accurate.
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