Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Danny McBride is not the coolest kid in school, not in his wildest dreams. And if the other kids knew he spent his Saturday nights playing Parcheesi with his mom and working on a city made of Lego, he'd be even less cool. Danny wants more than anything to be popular. He creates a fictional British rocker named James and befriends him publicly online, hoping his make-believe friend's cool will rub off. It works. Danny starts making friends and feeling like part of the crowd—until people start wanting to meet the imaginary friend, and Danny's plan starts to unravel.
About the author
Adrian Chamberlain is an award-winning arts writer for the Victoria Times Colonist, the daily newspaper in Victoria, BC. Raised on Gabriola Island, he has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Victoria and a master of arts degree in journalism from the University of Victoria. He has won three BC Newspaper Awards for arts writing. In 2005 his short story, Temple Baptist, 1973, was a winner in Monday Magazine’s summer fiction contest.
"[Chamberlain's] book is intention-perfect: it's a great starting point for all sorts of theoretical talking points...The creator of the fake online profile is the new bedtime storyteller for the internet age."
"This relevant read looks at a young man’s journey through relationships with family, friends, and girls...Chamberlain’s compelling story will satisfy the reluctant middle-school reader."
Tacome Public School District
"Young adults everywhere have to contend with the realities of social networking sites like 'FaceSpace' on a daily basis, and this book might be helpful in dealing with the downside of such media. Recommended."
"Deals with the important issue of irresponsible use of social media...With the larger print, interesting stories, and compelling characters, [Orca Currents] encourage reluctant readers to read."
"A good novel to spark discussion. Readers will sympathize with Danny while recognizing that his ploy is doomed to failure...An enjoyable read...that will appeal to both boys and girls."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group