19 March 2013

Book Review: FACESPACE by Adrian Chamberlain

FACESPACE by Adrian Chamberlain is a quick, easy-to-read middle grade novel for kids who are just getting involved in the world of social media.

Danny McBride feels like all of his FaceSpace friends are having more fun than he is. He’s tired of staying home to play Parcheesi with his mom on Saturday nights, instead of going to the fun parties that all of his friends go to. So Danny comes up with a plan to improve his popularity. He creates a FaceSpace profile for a fictional British rocker named James and friends him online. At first, his plan seems to be working. Suddenly, people at school are noticing who he is, sitting him with lunch, and inviting him to parties. Even Megan, the cute girl from his math class, is finally noticing him.

The only problem is that everyone wants to meet James, and James only exists in Danny's imagination.

Danny knows he has to stop it before things really get out of hand, but he doesn’t know how to get rid of James without sacrificing his new-found popularity. With this cautionary tale, as Danny runs the risk of losing even the friends he started with, Chamberlain illustrates the dangers of deception and the difficulties that arise from not being true to oneself. Although the plot is predictable, Danny is a loveable character with fears and worries that most middle grade readers will relate to.

This was a fun book, and I was able to read it in a couple of hours. Bonus: it opened the door for discussions with my kids about appropriate online behavior, and I didn't have to lecture.

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