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This issue's cover is a photograph of Anne Frank whose diary is discussed by Michael Rosen fifty years after its first publication. Following the arrest of the Frank family and their companions, the secret annex in Amsterdam where they had been in hiding was locked up and everybody forbidden to enter it, since Jewish possessions became Nazi property and were carted away. Before this happened, the young woman, Miep Gies, who had provided those in hiding with food and who had a second key to the annex, risked herself once more by entering it. Miep retrieved Anne's diary from the devastation together with the Frank family photograph album.
Thanks to Penguin Children's Books for help in reproducing this cover.
A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E. is a protest organisation concerned with protecting the environment; Elliot's uncle is arrested, and his mother disappears, after they are spotted breaking in to the premises of a local business on behalf of the organisation. Elliot, a young black boy, uses his extensive knowledge and understanding of computer systems to work out who the spy is in A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E.'s camp, and just what his mum is really up to. The book, reminiscent of a TV spythriller in pace and style, is an easier-to-read, less substantial version of Blackman's award-winning 1992 novel Hacker, with a child hero able to crack the case against a parent through computer-literacy learned at that parent's knee. The language is fairly simple, relying a great deal on dialogue, and the pace is fast with suspense built up well. I enjoyed it greatly, despite my initial irritation at the colloquialisms and use of contemporary slang - a good read for 10-pluses and less-sure readers, and a good introduction to the thriller genre.