Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.
My choice for this week is:
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
August 1, 2011 Scholastic Inc
Abby and Luke chat online. They’ve never met. But they are going to. Soon.
Abby is starting high school–it should be exciting, so why doesn’t she care? Everyone tells her to “make an effort,” but why can’t she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she’s losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke–he is her secret, and she’s his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn’t who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don’t, they’ll never see Abby again.
Right from the author’s dedication at the beginning of the book I was hooked.
“To the dedicated men and women of the law enforcement community who face ugliness every day in the effort to keep our kids safe”
Yes, Thank God for them. I can’t even imagine the horrible things they have to look at every day. The dedicated men and women who not only put their lives but also their sanity on the line for us. Plus anyone else that helps children either by intervening before something happens or taking care of them after something has happened. Nurses, Counselors, Psychiatrists, Teachers, Social workers, public speakers on Internet safety, the list goes on. And also to the dedicated parents who are trying their best to protect their children.
Abby is 14 years old and about to start high school. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. She also feels like her parents expect her to be perfect and that they don’t love her for who she is. She feels like no one understands her.
Then Abby meets Luke online. HE understands her. He agrees that her parents are too hard on her and that her best friend should be paying more attention to her. She feels like Luke is the only one who truly gets her.
Luke says all the things Abby wants to hear.
Abby has had those Internet safety talks at school and she knows that he could be some 50-year-old dude in the basement somewhere, but she figures it’s not like she’s ever going to meet him.
This was an intense read. Teenagers are impulsive. They still have that “it will never happen to me” thinking. Predators are experts, they know what they’re looking for, they know how to talk, and especially how to “groom”.
Teenagers brains have not stopped growing and they don’t always think things through. They are living in a world that many adults don’t even understand (all we have to do is look on Facebook to see).
It’s hard to keep up with all the new social media sites popping up every day. Not all teenagers are going to make poor decisions online. But unfortunately, some are. Even though there are Internet safety talks at school, there still needs to be more education, and more open dialogue between child and parent etc.
I thought this was a very good and important read. Of course, it is a book of fiction so there may be times where things seem unlikely. However, I felt like the author wrote an interesting story and also did a great job of writing a realistic portrayal of what some teenagers are like in this day and age.
I highly recommend this novel.