The readers are introduced to Marcus Yallow, a 17 year old high school student living in San Francisco, who goes by the name w1n5t0n on the computer. The reader is also introduced to his best friend Darryl, who is IMing him while they are in school (Cesar Chavez High School).
Marcus is called down to the office by one of the vice-prinicpals, Fredrick Benson, who confronts Marcus about being "Double-you-one-enn-five-tee-zero-enn" and threatens him with sending him to jail if he doesn't stop doing illegal things. Marcus stands his ground and tells Mr.Benson that he has no idea what he is talking about.
Marcus goes back to class and continues to IM Darryl eventually convincing him to skip school and go meet Van and JoLu at the cable cars in the city. They all meet up and head out to figure out a clue for the game Harajuku Fun Madness. On the way, they bump into 4 girls, one of them who has taken a picture of Marcus and threatened to "rat" him out unless he let her take take the clue. Before they can argue anymore, the ground shakes and the groups believe it to be a earthquake. They were about to continue on when Darryl spots black smoke coming from the northeast and the group feels another rumble followed by more smoke. An announcement comes on right after telling everyone to evacuate to the BART station but finds it's to crowed. The group goes back the way they came to find somewhere safer and on the way Darryl gets stabbed. While trying to flag down an ambulance or police officer, the group gets captured by the Department of Homeland Security, who suspect them of terrorism. The group, mainly Marcus, is interrogated by Severe Haircut (nickname he gave the female interrogator) and after 5 days, they all are released (everyone except Darryl). Darryl returns home where his parents question him before he goes to bed after not resting well for the past 5 days. The next day, Darryl returns to school and finds that the state has become a police state. Marcus then plots to fight back against the system and creates an all new email and username, M1k3y, through the Pirate Party, a swedish political party. JoLu and Van eventually decide that they can't fight the government and leave the team. Marcus meets Ange, a friend of JoLu, who is just as devoted as him. A few days after meeting Ange, who tells him she knows he's M1k3y, they plan to hold a press conference. Marcus tells a reporter by the name of Barbara Stratford what happened to him and his friends at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Later on Marcus runs into Masha.
Masha, the girl who was going to snitch on Marcus in the beginning of the book, reveals that she works for the DHS and takes him back to headquarters, or tries to at least. He escapes and heads out to find somewhere to get on the Xnet only to get captured again and is sent to Treasure Island. He gets interrogated by Severe Haircut and is tortured when he does not corporate.
Men dressed in armor fill the room and inform the DHS that everyone was under arrest. They arrested everyone and Marcus realized that the men were the State Troopers. Barbara comes in to tell him that he is technically under arrest. He walks through the hallways of the building and is reunited with Ange and Darryl once more.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Posted on November 30th, 2009
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