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Parents' Guide to

Top 8

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Cautionary teen tale of gossip and social networking sites.

Book Katie Finn School 2008
Top 8 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

It was okay, very funny but some iffy stuff.

My daughter has read this a number of times, so one day I wanted to see why she liked it so much. After finishing it, I was horrified. Madison's profile gets hacked by her best friend, Ruth. There is a lot of talk of hooking up, drinking and gossip. Although it was funny at parts, it was not a very nice book and I will make sure that before Sophi reads another book about internet bullying or hacking, I will read it first.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (14 ):

TOP 8 is a great book for teens on what NOT to do in the world of social networking. Online bullying has gotten a lot of attention lately and for good reason. Bullies can do a lot of harm without coming near another student in school, which makes this book timely and helpful. It also shows teens the dangers of allowing too much information and faith placed in social networking sites. Author Katie Finn does a great job in highlighting the fast pace and often frantic environment teens have within their online community. Timeless vices like gossiping, jealousy, and frienemy releationships are magnified and information is forwarded at a pace that provides too many kids with opportunities for instant notoriety. The dialog is authentic, sounding very much like conversations one might overhear at the local coffee shop after school, while the cat-and-mouse game Madison plays with whomever is out to destroy her keeps the audience interested.

What doesn't work is Madison's character. While she learns great lessons on honesty and how to put friendship above popularity, she still isn't completely likeable. Though there is character growth, she's still pretty narcassistic and can be mean. Who knows if the author meant for her to have some residual entitlement issues, but it can get annoying.

Book Details

  • Author: Katie Finn
  • Genre: School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Point
  • Publication date: October 1, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 14
  • Number of pages: 244
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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