Cory Doctorow is a one-man miniature media empire. He is co-editor of Boing Boing, one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, and he has also written Essential Blogging (2002). He has also written several science fiction books, most famously Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003), a novel about a post-scarcity society run by informal, voluntary “adhocracies.” In his spare time, he’s an activist for copyright reform.
His latest book, Little Brother (Tor), is a dystopian young adult novel set in a near-future security state put into place after terrorists attack San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. We asked Doctorow, a devout civil libertarian, to recommend three political books for young adults:
1 Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, by Daniel Pinkwater: “One of my all-time favorite books, period. A subversive novel about a kid who moves from a funky urbanized inner city neighborhood to a place where he attends Heinrich Himmler junior high and is lost among very plastinated people. He and a friend discover an occult book shop in the funky neighborhood and go spelunking.”
2 Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld: “Well paced, and wildly popular. It’s about the pressures on young people to conform, specifically to physically conform and to switch off their minds while they’re conforming. All Westerfeld’s books are good revolutionary texts.”
3 Animal Farm, by George Orwell: “It’s probably the most perfect bit of political exposition disguised as fairy tale of all time.”