GENRE: YA Contemporary
Hacking is part art, part science. Take the Trojan horse I wrote to take over Mason High's computers. At precisely 9:32 on a boring Thursday morning, the school mascot, Gander Gus, waddled across every computer screen in the school singing "Let's Get This Party Started." The whole network had to be shut down until the techies from district removed my code from the server. It was an act of kindness, really, a public service. Snoozing students woke up and smiled. Everyone talked about it for weeks. Which was how long it took them to trace the code to me. The principal was not amused. That's why I'm here. Banned from computer classes for life. On the bus to Central Alternative Learning Center, the high school for freaks, head cases, and now, computer dorks.
It's November, and typical Houston, the humidity is off the charts. By the time I get to school, my hair has frizzed to epic proportions. Hi, I'm Beth. No, I didn't stick my finger in a light socket.
The bus pulls up to a dumpy brick building that could fit inside the freshman wing of Mason High. I shift my backpack on my shoulders and follow a handful of students drifting toward the entrance. The guy in front of me, a massive dude in a black hoodie, stops suddenly and I slam into him. He reeks of cigarettes, and I feel the remnants of his smoky dregs drift over me and settle in my clothes and hair.