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The books for kids who want to be smarter than their smartphones

■ With the Mara Turing book series, kids learn about the good (and bad) sides of technology in an entertaining way.

Rise of the Hackers
(Mara Turing #1)

Evil Reborn
(Mara Turing #2)

Falko's Missing Files
(Mara Turing #3)

An expert reviewer from LoveReading4Kids said about this book...

Javi Padilla’s ‘Rise of the Hackers’ is an enlightening start to a new series for readers around 11+ that teaches online safety via stealth and will leave them with lots of questions and keen to find out what happens next with Mara and her friends.
Cyber security, coding and how to be safe online dominates this mystery adventure. After receiving a mysterious cry for help from her school computer, Mara and her two friends Noa and Danny spend a life changing summer in New York learning what they need to find Mara’s Uncle and hacker, Arnold Turing.
This is an interesting mystery which uses Arnold’s connections to the world of hacking and his mysterious disappearance to incorporate an emphasis on cyber safety and critical thinking about the information you access online. I liked the themes in the book and I think that the messages within the story were effectively delivered while still maintaining an entertaining and action filled story. There are some brilliant full page illustrations throughout the story too that really helps to add an extra dimension […]


Mara Turing receives a mysterious message right before leaving for her summer vacation: “I need your help.” 

Mara, Noa and DanielThis cry for help comes from her uncle, a member of the famous group of hackers known as the “Dirtee Loopers.” He had disappeared without a trace five years ago, leaving a blank space in Mara’s life, which had a great impact on her childhood. 

Mara and her friends embark on an adventure to find her uncle, Arnold Turing, that leads them to learn how to program in a garage in Queens (New York), see the world through more critical eyes, and face the evil duo: Hermes, an extremely advanced artificial intelligence, and Falko McKinnon, the most dangerous hacker in the world.  

Reviews from readers

Couldn’t put the book down (Susan)

What a great book! My nine year old son loved it, as I did ! (nearly forty) such an exciting story, plenty of laugh out loud moments and thrilling moments too. The premise of this story is pretty captivating. You end up learning about coding through their characters as well as the bad and good use of the technology nowadays. Couldn’t put the book down. The book keeps children and adults fully engaged the whole way through.

My son liked it so much that he asked me to sign him into robotics after reading the book (Ms Belinda)

Like most kids, my son (12) loves video games, and at times it seems like is the only thing he likes. I am sure many of you can relate to that. After having read all his favourites authors, we have found difficult to find books he would be interested in. We were recommended this book by a friend who has a child similar age and decided to give it a go. I was not expecting much to be honest, it has been a while since he has been hooked by a book. He absolutely loves the book and has come off his video games the whole week so that he could read it. He has shared with me some in depth knowledge about how smartphones can track people or how hackers can access your device. He likes it so much that he has now asked me to sign him into robotics after reading this book. I would say this has been a win-win for us!

The kids have to use their brains to think outside of the box solutions. Fantastic! (SunDowner2)

I loved this book! My teen loved this book! My younger child will love this one one day. This is not only a great story, but it teaches kids the importance of being careful with electronics, but not in a preachy way. More of a, there’s a lot of fun out there…but there are some dangerous things too. These are clean books, the kids have to use their brains to think of outside the box solutions. Fantastic!

J. Padilla with teens in a recent book signing event

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