Cyber security, coding and how to be safe online dominates this mystery adventure. After receiving a mysterious cry for help from her school computer, Mara and her two friends Noa and Danny spend a life changing summer in New York learning what they need to find Mara’s Uncle and hacker, Arnold Turing. This is an interesting mystery which uses Arnold’s connections to the world of hacking and his mysterious disappearance to incorporate an emphasis on cyber safety and critical thinking about the information you access online. I liked the themes in the book and I think that the messages within the story were effectively delivered while still maintaining an entertaining and action filled story. There are some brilliant full page illustrations throughout the story too that really helps to add an extra dimension. However, I’m personally not a fan of the use of footnotes throughout the story. They aren’t overused, but it’s my belief that information is either important enough to the story that it needs to be weaved into the plot, or isn’t and so should be left out. Javi Padilla’s ‘Rise of the Hackers’ is an enlightening start to a new series for readers around 11+ that teaches online safety via stealth and will leave them with lots of questions and keen to find out what happens next with Mara and her friends.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador