Cyber High is a thriller about a boy who is up to his eyeballs in crises, having to deal with the changes in his body and his feelings toward girls and worrying about being popular, when he becomes an overnight soccer sensation at Central High in Los Angeles and his metrics on social media skyrocket. His worries are over, or so he thinks, until days later, when he gets blamed for writing nasty tweets–he didn’t write–about one of the players on the losing team. His friends think a girl or a spammer is after him. And then Eddie gets a text from an unknown girl, inviting him and his soccer teammates to try out for Homecoming court–please, click on the attachment–Amanda. Thrilled to have the high school experience he’d always dreamed of, he clicks; and he’s phished by a hacker, without having a clue.
Filled with the tension of a high school soap opera, taken up a notch by the addition of the high stakes game of social media on a vulnerable population that doesn’t understand the risks.
“The FBI agent said, ‘If it’s a hacker, he’ll be hard to stop.’”
Eddie has never had good metrics on social media but he didn’t worry about it until the summer after eighth grade. He had enough to do with his three friends, living in Los Angeles, just a short bicycle ride to the Pacific Ocean and the fun of Venice Beach, and had no reason to spend more time on the Internet than necessary. He already spent hours playing online strategy games, and found it boring to stalk celebrities and girls. No-one knows that he has been learning the software to make computer-generated images and his goal is to combine his knowledge of magic with CGIs and trick a bully and a heartthrob.
But when the girl who has agreed to be his date, Eva Martin, acts against him the day before Homecoming and Eddie gets in a fight and gets suspended does he begin to wonder what went wrong and if a scammer had anything to do with Eva’s change in behavior. Following his return to Central High, Eddie warns others to stay off social media, but his classmates think he’s pulling a gag. The FBI tells his parents there’s little hope of stopping the hacker. After his dad’s co-workers get hacked and his dad is worried he’ll lose his job Eddie breaks his promise to keep quiet and tells Eva and his three friends his secret; they must bait the hacker and get his IP address and stop him before more identities are stolen. Eddie’s hunt forces him to dig deeper on the Internet, and become more vulnerable to the hacker he has learned to fear, where he discovers the secret of Houdini’s magic might be his answer. To save the students at Central High and his dad’s job, Eddie must perform the greatest magic trick of his life.
Here are the first two chapters: Cyber High.
Two rabbits are running when a fox jumps them. They survive by giving a false promise: leave us alone and we will bring rabbits and squirrels and deer. We will make you famous. A hero.
Of course, they don’t mean it. They just wanted to live.
What happens next is very strange. The rabbits, led by Komo and Wapi, manage to out-smart Reynard the cunning fox each time he makes a request and they never deliver on their promise. At a special retreat taught by the smartest of prey, cross-skills, a blend of all the survival methods used by prey to evade their predators is being taught.
It seems like the rabbits’ mission to outfox the fox and all the predators is happening. Too bad they live in the woods on Hawk Hill, a woodland ghetto. Only the smartest get to live.
Ann Finch is an American author. Ann has written two middle-grade novels.
Originally from Connecticut, Ann has lived near Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.