A young witch navigates the complicated world of the Internet and gets caught in the web of a deceitful spider in Jordan’s (One Creepy Street: Annica’s Broom, 2014) second installment of his children’s book series.
Annica, a 13-year-old witch with a pet bat named Murray, likes to spend time “Surfing the Web.” She watches funny videos on Creepy Tube, plays games, and starts chatting with a funny spider she meets in a virtual game room. After they stay up late at night talking and sending each other pictures, Annica agrees to meet the spider in person at the mall. Luckily for her, Officer Tate has heard that there’s “a spider on the Web unlike any other / Who prowled the Internet, using games as a cover,” and he calls on his informants—a pair of monster twins who live under the local burger shack, Mort the Mortician, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force—to try and track the spider down. When Annica leaves her computer open and her mother sees her email, she calls Tate, who rushes to save her. Jordan tells the tale in clear, well-written rhyming verse, which helps lighten a very serious story. According to the author’s note, he wrote the story after consulting an investigator from the real-life Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and it teaches a very important lesson about how kids can safely use the Internet and how cautious behaviors in real life—such as not talking to strangers—also carry over to chat rooms: “This type of spider is an expert at deception. / It uses camouflage to alter the prey’s perception.” Rose’s brightly colored, detailed, and successfully creepy illustrations will also help draw readers in. Overall, it’s a good book for parents and kids to read together and talk about how to avoid dangerous situations on the Internet, which has become an indispensable part of everyday life.
A relatable lesson about online safety.