The Popularity Code

S. & S./Aladdin. Apr. 2020. 256p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781534445192.
Gr 6 Up–Middle school student Faith Taylor is popular by association, even though her true self is invisible at home. She is a secretive computer coder and working on a new app for homework help, when a new website called SlamBook hits the web and becomes the newest gossip at her middle school. While the posts start out nice, everyone soon becomes a target. Some of Faith’s friends are targets of racist comments and body-shaming insults. Using her coding and hacking skills, Faith sets out to uncover how the SlamBook website works and who is behind it all. Unfortunately, she also gets drawn into the drama and in the guise of defending her friends, begins to write some pretty nasty comments herself. After a series of concerning posts allude to a student wanting to disappear, Faith and her friends decide that enough is enough, and attempt to find out the identity of the distraught poster and how they can help them. As the story unravels, friendships are tested, alliances are made, and one girl’s quest to solve the mystery becomes a mission to save a life. While the theme of social media bullying is rampant in a lot of middle grade and young adult literature, Faris’s novel is a good entry point for libraries seeking a timely novel on this subject.
VERDICT A secondary purchase for libraries looking to boost their lower middle grade collections with current topics.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing