Katie.COM: My Story

Overview

Katherine Tarbox was thirteen when she met twenty-three-year-old "Mark" in an online chat room. A top student and nationally ranked swimmer attending an elite school in an affluent Connecticut town, Katie was also a lonely and self-conscious eighth-grader who craved the attention her workaholic parents couldn't give her. "Mark" seemed to understand her; he told her she was smart and wonderful. When they set a date to finally meet while Katie was in Texas for a swim competition, she walked into a hotel room and ...
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Overview

Katherine Tarbox was thirteen when she met twenty-three-year-old "Mark" in an online chat room. A top student and nationally ranked swimmer attending an elite school in an affluent Connecticut town, Katie was also a lonely and self-conscious eighth-grader who craved the attention her workaholic parents couldn't give her. "Mark" seemed to understand her; he told her she was smart and wonderful. When they set a date to finally meet while Katie was in Texas for a swim competition, she walked into a hotel room and discovered who -- and what -- her cyber soul mate really was.

In Katie.com, Tarbox, now eighteen, tells her story -- a frightening and eyeopening tale of one teenager's descent into the seductive world of the Internet. Tarbox's harrowing experience with her online boyfriend would affect her life for years to come and result in her becoming the first "unnamed minor" to test a federal law enacted to protect kids from online sexual predators.

In a time when a new generation is growing up online, Tarbox's memoir offers a rare and candid look at what it's like to be a girl in the Internet Age.

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Editorial Reviews

Seventeen.com
Moving and insightful ... a page-turner... . Read it, tell your mom to read it, tell your best friend to read it, and then read it again.
Time Magazine
An impressive work that reveals the tormented psyche of a young teen who seemed to have it all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613576239
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Format: Library Binding

Table of Contents

Me, Before 1
My Family 15
Him 23
Us 33
Happy Holidays 51
Apart 71
Together 85
Slut 117
Victim 137
Escape 149
Guilty 155
Me, Again 165
Epilogue 185
Suggestions for Protecting Your Child 191
Acknowledgments 195
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    How would you react if something took control over your life for two years, and that all started on the Internet?

    Katie.com, a memoir written by Katherine Tarbox, is about a girl,named Katie, who really enjoys using the computer and meeting new friends on AOL. Katie is lonely every since her sister left for college, and her parents are working non-stop. One day, she meets "Mark", a 23-year-old guy from California, whom she meets in an online chat room. Mark seems like the perfect guy. They both like all the same things: clothing, music and current events. Katie has become obsessed with talking to her new friend Mark, and after chatting on the phone and emailing or IMing for six months, Katie and Mark decide its time to meet. While preparing for an upcoming swim meet, Mark tells Katie he is going to meet her in Texas, before the swim meet. When Mark and Katie finally do meet, something strange happens that takes control over Katie's life for two years.

    If I were Katie, I wouldn't be able to trust "Mark". If you meet someone online, they could be anyone. They could be a 75 year old pretending to be 23, they could be a 10 year old pretending to be 23, or they could even be a stalker who is trying to hunt you down. For all I know, it could be some wacko trying to get a hold of you! In my opinion, I would never agree to meet Mark. I think this book is a great read for teens and young adults because they need to learn about things like this, not all of them understand that this could really happen and it relates to real life! This book teaches important lessons for people to know not to give out information about themselves on the internet, to not believe what everybody says, and that you shouldn't talk to strangers! I would definitely recommend this book because it provides the reader with a great lesson; great book, and relates to the real world! This could really happen, and I think all teens should read this book to learn what can really happen, when they give out too much information and when people aren't always who you think they are!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Katie commits her own crime on the Internet. She has not refunde

    Katie commits her own crime on the Internet. She has not refunded me $3000.00. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A lesson for parents

    What stands out most is Katie's words to parents on how to prevent this type of thing and it's as simple as banning use of the internet.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    Love it

    It is the best book ever!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    WHAT A BOOK!

    i thought this book was very good and it was very ... reality based i guess i would definitly read it if i could ever find it somewhere

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    I loved this book

    I loved it, the lesson was extremely important, and tells everyone just how seductive the internet world can be. This is the type of book that's not only entertaining and thrilling, but it has a lesson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    A Real Page Turner

    OMG!! This was a great book. I could not put it down. Since im 13 and online all the time it really made me think!! I really liked this book and i hope others will to!! The author gave so much detail!!! It was great!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    Read all about it

    This book is a great way to inform your children about sexual predators. I'm not sure the title fits with it though, because it doesn't actually have anything to do with katie.com at all. Oh well, because the content surely makes up for it. The story of a great life, and should be shared with everyone. Great job Katie!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2004

    Astonishing

    I thought the book was really good. Katherine presented the book in her point of view as if it was lived right in front of your eyes. My first book that I actually finshed reading. I really enjoyed the book. It was a very sad yet thrilling story to know that people are out there trying to get with little girls and yet having them girls fall in love with old guys. it's happen in my family so you can say i can relate to it some how. can i get a free book now?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    OK book

    the book was ok, the lesson was important, but a boring read, Katherine Tarbox actually was a speaker at my school a couple weeks ago about internet safety, i got more out of the 1 hour talk than the entire book though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2004

    Must Read for Teachers and Parents, not Just for Kids

    This book lends a very rare insight into how a teenager's mind works and thinks. Afterall, not too many 16 year olds have been able to publish their own works! Katie very candidly reveals her thoughts as she recounts her experiences resulting from an encounter with a scheming pedophile whom she met on the Internet. Due to Katie's strength and fortitude, she is able to have the pedophile convicted to protect future potential victims from him, and through her book, tells us how she was able to be manipulated by him. By sharing this very difficult lesson with us, Katie is able to help us to understand how any kid could become a victim. In the end, Katie's strength enables her to turn a very negative situation into a much more positive one by sharing and teaching her lessons learned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2004

    important lesson - poorly written

    Book offers an important lesson from an insightful (first person) point of view. However, there are gaps in the story that can be frustrating. Monotonous tone makes reading a chore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    Outstanding Book!

    This book was great! I highly recomend it. It tells you the importance and safty precautions you should take while in a chat room. Never give people your personal information!!! Or you may end up having something have something happen to you simaler to what was done to Katie. You girls should NEVER EVER go in a chat room!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    Katie.Com: Her story becomes everyones story

    Katie.com, by Katherine Tarbox, is a very sophisticated and great book. It is an autobiography about a certain event in Katherine Tarbox¿s life. Katie.com is a very real book, and it captures you mind into her life. When you read Katie.com, you get trapped in the story and keep on reading non-stop. It feels like you are the main Character. The story of Katie.com is very powerful. It is about a 13 year old girl who lives in New Canaan, Ct. She was in 8th grade, a top ranked swimmer on her swim team, had lots of friends, and a great family. Her life was perfect until she meets ¿Mark¿ a `23¿-year-old guy from California on the Internet. After she meets ¿Mark¿ and gets to know him a little better, she realizes that he was everything she was looking for in a guy. When they plan to meet, her whole world changed. Each character in Katie.com plays a very important role throughout the book. The first and main character is Katie. She meets Mark on the Internet. ¿Mark¿ claims that he lives in California and he meets Katie on the Internet. Abby is Katie¿s older sister who is in college. Abby brings a computer home over the summer equipped with America Online. Carrie is Katie¿s younger sister who looks up to Katie and Abby. Katie¿s mom and Dave (Katie¿s step dad) help Katie out through all of the hard times she goes trough. Frank, a 41-year-old man, is the creator of all the trouble. Katherine Tarbox¿s writing style is very different and creative. Her book, Katie.com, which is an autobiography, is written so well, that it doesn¿t feel like you are reading an autobiography. It feels like you are reading a regular fictional book. But, it is not a fictional book, it is a true story¿ Her story. I highly recommend this book to everybody. It is worth the time that you take to read. It leaves in you suspense until you turn on to the next page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    A MUST read book- Kaie.com

    Four years ago my mom purchased my first computer. Connecting to America Online was a big deal at the time. One of the first things my mom made sure was in place were child restrictions. I remember thinking that she was being neurotic, and making it into a big deal. Well, I guess I really never understood just how dangerous a 'click of the mouse' could be until I read Katie.com by Katherine Tarbox. Five years ago, a somewhat naive 13 year old Katherine Tarbox was introduced to A.O.L. by her sister. Katie lived a rather sheltered life, with not much control because her mother had to work very hard and didn't have time speak to her daughter. Katherine Tarbox's days consisted of going to school where she was a top student and she was also a nationally ranked swimmer attending an elite school in a wealthy community in New Canaan Connecticut. Materialistically, Katie had everything she could hope for except a 'listener.' However, when Katie enters a teen chat room, she finds that 'listener' who permanatley alters her life. She meets 41 year old Frank, a.k.a 'Mark' who states his age as 23. Mark gives Katie the attention she has longed for. He tells her things such as 'your smart,' 'mature for your age,' 'sophisticated,' and things of that nature. Mark's ability to capture Katie's heart online, was absolutely frightening to me. This book has shed light on just how dangerous the Internet is. Every young adult, who enters a chat room should read Katie's story so they will understand just how unsafe it can be. In my opinion in today's society, children are exposed to a lot of sexual media. Personally I would strongly urge that this book be available in middle school libraries, and it wouldn't hurt for parent's to read it either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2002

    An Awsome Book

    I usually don't read true stories,I am more of mystery book person. But I was assigned for school to read it over the summer. And I thought it was a great book. It's so scary knowing that someting like that can happen to anyone. You learn many great lessons while reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    absolutely amazing

    i just finished reading this and let me tell u, i couldn't wait to sit down and start reading. u feel all the feelings that she does. beautifully written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    The shocking truth of the dangers of the internet

    I thought this book was pure genius!!! It portrayed a lot of the dangers on the internet that many young teens don't know because they haven't been exposed to it yet. I believe that if you read this book, you will understand how a friendly, sensitive man can turn out to be your worst nightmare. Please read Katie.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    A very good book.

    This book was so well written and compelling I could not put it down. It very accurately describes how easy it is for kids to 'meet' strangers online and develop relationships with them. Though I am an avid user and believer in the many good things about the internet, this book reveals the very worst of it and the dangers lurking--that it provides a way for predators, pedophiles, and socially maladjusted people to have access to our kids. This boook should be mandatory reading for all middle achool students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2002

    It's off the heezy!!!!

    this is a must read book, i mean this book is the best, it gets through your head. parents should let their children read this book because it will touch their lifes.

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