Haarsma, PJ. The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1. Candlewick Press, 2006. ISBN 0763627097. $15.99. 262 p.
Reviewer: Angel Pearce
Reading Level: Intermediate
Genre: Science Fiction;
Subject: Science Fiction; Computers--Juvenile fiction; Orphans--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Haarsma has written a fun and fast-paced science fiction book worth recommending. A group of children, orphaned in outer space, arrive on an alien world where they are forced to work off their deceased parents’ debts. Johnny and his sister Ketheria, the only sibling pair born on the ship, are soon embroiled in a struggle between the factions that rule this new world. Johnny discovers that he has a gift that allows him to enter any computer with his mind, making him a human softwire. When the computers on the Rings of Orbis begin to malfunction, fingers are pointed at him, and he must solve the mystery of who is really causing the computer problems. Johnny continues to believe, a bit naively, that life will get better for him even as the struggle heats up and both sides want him dead. The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 is science fiction for children at its best—with no offensive language and with great appeal. This book should certainly find its way into classrooms and onto library shelves.
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