cover image Me and Banksy

Me and Banksy

Tanya Lloyd Kyi. Puffin Canada, $15.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-735-26691-9

Many stories of teens and technology focus on social media, but Kyi’s sharply executed novel takes on the larger question of living in a panoptic society. Dominica Rivers, in eighth grade at a private school for gifted students, receives a flood of unwanted attention when a video from the school’s vast network of security cameras shows her “stripping” in the empty library—in actuality, she flipped her shirt when she realized it was inside out. Her best friends, dysthymic former child star Holden and budding hacker Saanvi, plot ways to stop what fast becomes an epidemic of found footage. But Dominica, who has recently become interested in street artist Banksy thanks to her gallery owner grandmother, prefers a trickster-esque approach and begins tagging the security cameras’ blind spots with activist messages. The usual crushes and love triangles abound, and cameras and social media form a fourth protagonist as complex and unpredictable as the human players. Kyi (Mya’s Strategy to Save the World) examines the large and small impacts of living in a surveillance society, but her faith in youth and art makes this story anything but dystopian. Ages 10–up. [em](Jan.) [/em]