The bookclub’s most recent book was Risk by Fleur Ferris, which is a YA novel about online predators. It is a great book and I think most adults who have kids will find it a thought-provoking read.
In the story, a girl goes to meet a guy she’s met online and her friends cover for her with the parents until they realise something’s not right. In the aftermath, the girl’s best friend is left to deal with the blame, the guilt, the helplessness and tries to make sense of it all by setting up a website to educate her peers about this kind of online risk.
The strongest aspect of the book, I think, is it’s not really about the predator, though there is valuable information in there about how they operate online. Really, it is about the attitudes and mindset of being a teen that allow predators to lure them into these kind of meetings and how friends can help protect each other.
From the reaction of my bookclub, I’d say the messages about online predators really haven’t gotten through to adults. It certainly had all of them re-considering their own online profiles and safety!
I hope that this book does speak to its teen audience too.