Children's LiteratureMenhard's reference text explores the positives and negatives associated with the growth of the Internet and World Wide Web. The text begins with a brief history of the Internet's formation, web-user profiles and a discussion of whether this new technology serves to equalize or further divide rich from poor. It then addresses debatable issues associated with the Internetcensorship, control, privacy, theft and pornography. Easy to read, even for computer novices, the text serves as an informative source for research or the acquisition of general knowledge. The body of the text is followed by a glossary, suggestions for further reading and select Internet addresses to explore. As a research tool, each chapter is clearly titled, and subtitles within each chapter (as well as a comprehensive index) make for quick reference. Chapter notes that follow the text cite original sources for further study. Several computer terms are used and defined in such a way that readers are given a clear sense of just how unique the cyberworld is. Although the chapter, "The Dark Side of the Internet," openly discusses and provides explicit examples of the prevalence of pornography and child predators on the Internet, the information is honest and necessary in formulating a judgment regarding the new technology. Adolescent readers, for whom the text is intended, would likely find the chapter on "Music Pirates" both interesting and insightful. Menhard cites specific court cases, statistics and research-based examples to corroborate her claims and keep the information from becoming dull or without real-world context. 2001, Enslow Publishers, $20.95. Ages 10 to 16. Reviewer: Wendy Glenn
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-The Internet explosion has brought a whole host of new legal and ethical issues to the forefront. Menhard examines some of the major questions raised by this technology, including filtering, copyright protection, privacy, piracy, and data encryption. A chapter entitled "The Dark Side of the Internet" touches on scams, hate groups, predators, and pornography. Each issue is well researched and discussed in a fairly balanced, albeit unexciting fashion. This volume reads like a textbook, and the dull black-and-white photographs do little to enhance the presentation. The information is as current as possible, but since no final solutions have been reached with regard to any of these debates, the shelf life of this book is clearly limited. Any student studying these topics would be wiser to use the Web itself as the primary research tool. Still, the book may be useful for a very basic introduction to the questions at hand, and is an acceptable starting point for assignments.-Ronni Krasnow, New York Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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