Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 15
- Grade: 7 to 10
A topical tale of one teen's addiction to the Cyber World - and the Northern adventure that saved his life.
Fourteen-year-old Indio McCracken enjoys meteoric stardom as a guitar prodigy after his father posts a video of him playing. Things quickly go sour when Indio's fame fuels his father's dream of raising the world's next Segovia. Robbed of a normal childhood and already feeling alienated by his mixed Guatemalan-Canadian heritage, Indio desperately seeks escape online by creating a virtual identity, an obsession that almost kills him. Facing school expulsion - or worse - unless he kicks his Internet habit, Indio is shipped off to a teen addictions rehab center in the wilds of northern Canada where the adventure of a lifetime awaits him.
We all depend on computers, smartphones, or other handheld devices for sharing information, keeping in touch, and entertaining ourselves. But what happens when our normal interaction with these useful tools crosses the line into addiction?
Award-winning author Jamie Bastedo explores the roots of one "screenager's" passions and pitfalls in this timely tale of oppression, addiction, and deliverance.
About the author
Jamie Bastedo, former CBC North host and author of Shield Country: The Life and Times of the Oldest Piece of the Planet, Reaching North: A Celebration of the Subarctic and Blue Lake and Rocky Shores, reflects on the charm and mystery of the Canadian Shield. He writes to inform and to inspire, telling a "story of place." He lives in Yellowknife, NWT and operates a touring company that takes tourists on tours of the North and also runs an environmental consulting company.
"Bastedo shows readers how easy it can be to fall into the world of cyber addiction and how difficult it is to draw the line between the real and virtual worlds - without sounding preachy. Overall, the primary and secondary characters are multifaceted and teens will easily connect with Indio. VERDICT A smartly written title about the dangers of cyber addiction."
— School Library Journal
"Bastedo gives readers who may be inclined to scoff at the addictive - cyberdevice premise the space to assess Indio's actions and reasoning and reach their own conclusions, all the while keeping the tension and pace high."
— Kirkus Starred Review
"Bastedo's convincing characters and timely storyline make for a powerful, absorbing narrative, sure to make readers stop and question their own relationship with technology."
— The National Reading Campaign
"This is a great morality tale for young readers about the pressures of sudden fame and the toll it takes when people push too hard."
— Shelf Life
"Cut Off is an engaging read with ambitious goals that will introduce YA readers to a range of topics that they might not be exposed to in their everyday lives. This book uses relatable situations to get teen readers thinking about various complex ideas exploitation, addiction, abuse, recovery, to name a few and to consider the consequences of actions that they may not have been forced to think about before.
— CM Magazine
Other titles by Jamie Bastedo
Protectors of the Planet
Environmental Trailblazers from 7 to 97
Trans Canada Trail
Free as the Wind
On Thin Ice
Falling for Snow
A Naturalist's Journey into the World of Winter
A Celebration of the Subarctic
Tracking Triple Seven
The Life and Times of the Oldest Piece of the Planet