We got a bunch of new novels in the library related to techy things, just in time for Digital Citizenship Week. Today’s book gives you a real reason not to use Wikipedia…it could kill you!
If you’ve been through my class, you’ve heard the story about the school where the 10th grade edited Wikipedia to mess with the 9th grade. For those of you who don’t know it, here’s a short version: At this one particular school every year the 9th graders have to do a paper on the American Revolution and they are told, of course, not to use Wikipedia. Now the 10th graders, having done this project, know that the 9th graders are going to use Wikipedia anyway. So they go in to the relevant articles and start changing names of the military players…to the names of teachers in the school. When the 9th graders turn in their papers, they get caught having used Wikipedia and the 10th graders are caught messing with the 9th graders.
The reason for retelling that story (aside from the fact that I love it!) is that is very similar to the beginning premise of a new book, Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten. Cole and his buddy Gavin enjoy editing Wikipedia articles and then hearing their classmates embarrass themselves when they present ridiculous informaiton like Genghis Kahn, first astronaut on Jupiter. Cole takes this to the next level when someone steals his girlfriend. He creates a Wikipedia article on the culprit and includes a date of death. Which is funny, until the kid actually dies.
Now someone is continuing this twisted tradition and classmates are dying in horrible ways. Eventually, Cole finds an article on someone important to him, and has just 7 days to find out who is behind all of this before that person meets a potentially grisly end.
I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds like fun. I will finish this post with a caveat: according to reviews on Goodreads, the blurb on the back of the book (which I used to write this post) isn’t quite right. And that ticked some people off. No one explained what was wrong about it, but I think the general gist is there.