Who is Charlie Scott? Jess finds a tag bearing this name hidden within her family trunk. However when she begins her search, it seems the trail goes cold. Then again, Jess is an able searcher and ‘cyber spy’. She’s been honing her skills for years upon her father’s secret port- com. What’s more, Jess has brought the device to school where she continues to crack codes that JP sets her though in the dead of the secret night. It seems she always covers her tracks, doesn’t she?

School is a strange experience for Jess. She’s been home schooled until now, aged fourteen, when she’s gained a place at a prestigious cyber school. It seems her class mates come from wealthier families than her, which means they can order rapid drone supplies at a drop of a hat. However, the rules and rigour of the school are the same for everyone. It seems only music and then contact with her parents, and little sister, Chloe, make Jess feel content. Then again, Chloe’s health worries her. She needs constant medical support but the prices are increasing rapidly. So when her parents are suddenly disabled from all cyber life and contact it means they appear to no longer exist. What has happened? Might it be something to do with Charlie Scott? Or even to do with Jess’s secret hacking…. What is happening?

Once again, Ele Fountain presents an urgent, accessible story around a subject that matters. What’s more FAKE is highly plausible, too plausible, so that we feel powerless and worried for Jess and Chloe. We worry about who she can trust and then how much anyone knows. Bookwagon recommends FAKE highly to thoughtful, devoted, mature readers.

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Ele Fountain

(Pushkin Children’s)

Jess’s home learning is experience is complete. It means that aged fourteen she is moving on to school. However Jess is one of the few attending this particular school, though her friend Finn is at a school not far away. Then again, Jess will be able to communicate with home through her portal watch. That way she’ll be able to keep up to date on her younger sister’s health. However, Jess will have to be careful when continuing to practise her secret cyber skills with her hidden port-com with ‘JP’. After all her new school is a cyber school, full of able coders and programmers. While Jess may not have the same available income to rapid drone shop for clothes and more, she’s been well taught at home, and performs well in tests and course work. Then there’s her music. It seems the compositions that come to her naturally offer her a unique opportunity.
However, it’s not long into Jess’s arrival at school, that she uncovers a curiosity. Who is Charlie Scott? Why does his name appear on the family trunk that Jess uses for her school kit? Then again, why are her family suddenly removed from all contact? It’s like they don’t exist! It’s vital that they’ve access to medical supplies for Chloe. How does this relate to Jess and her secret port com? Then again, who can she trust to help her?
Ele Fountain writes contemporary books about subjects that matter, most recently, Melt. Bookwagon is inspired and moved by FAKE, which is an assured story about our online world, the meta-verse, privacy and identity. We recommend FAKE to our mature, thoughtful, intelligent readers.


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