Little Brother is a science-fiction novel that was published by Tor Books on April 29, 2008; it was written by the author Cory Doctorow. The story follows a group of teens during and after a terrorist attack on San Francisco, California. It depicts the effects of the terrorist attack, focusing mostly on the electronic security measures put in place by the Department of Homeland Security that are an extreme violation of privacy, and how the protagosint, Marcus Yallow, combats it. The novel is currently published under nothing but a Creative Commons liscence, and is available for free on the website of the author.
In May of 2008, the book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list in the children's chapter book section; it began at place number nine and peaked at place number eight. It stayed on the chart for a total of six weeks.
Little Brother was nominated for the 2009 White Pine Award, the 2009 Prometheus Award, the 2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novel. It won the White Pine, Prometheus, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards, though it was a finalist for the Hugo award. The book also received, in the young adult literature category, the Sunburst Award.
Many people have drawn concrete parallels between Little Brother and the works of George Orwell (1984 specifically), Jack Keroac's On the Road, and Bruce Schneider's Applied Cryptography. The novel is praised for its ability to present controversial and subversive ideas to a young audience in an understandable way, and was received, as a whole, well.
There is some attempted censorship of the book. In 2014, a high school principal in Pensacola, Florida prohibited teachers from assigning the book as summer reading because the book contained ideas about "questioning authorities." In response, the author, Doctorow, has his publisher mail a free copy of the book to every freshman and sophmore student at the school where the book was prohibited.