As the full title suggests, Hacker Cracker: A Journey
from the Mean Streets of Brooklyn to the Frontiers of Cyberspace, is a coming of age story of a boy as he physically,
emotionally and intellectually matures. Ejovi witnesses his mother slowly succumb
to AIDS related complications, battles with the inner city street gangs, deals with family drama, and yields to unrelenting
peer pressure. At one point in his young life, he attempts suicide and spends
time in a mental ward. He shares his childhood life stories and admits how his
first introduction to hacking was that on the side of wrongdoing (soliciting credit card numbers from unsuspecting online
users). Through a twist of fate, he applies his skills toward good and goes legit
in the field of computer security.
This story is an autobiography, however since the author is so young, the book spends a great deal
of time discussing his days as an outcast in high school and his adventures in the different hacking groups and online communities.
Although his computing exploits may be interesting to the "techies" of the world, I fear that lay people will struggle to
retain interest during those sections of the book. More importantly, I think
this novel is a testament to a man who could have easily fell victim to his circumstances.
He was/is largely self-taught and chose to use his intellect and street smarts to capitalize on his programming skills. This novel is an inspirational read for young people as it demonstrates that alternatives
and opportunities exist everywhere---one just has to be open and willing to consider the possibilities.
The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Hacker Cracker: A Journey from the
Mean Streets of Brooklyn to the Frontiers of Cyberspace is a 3 of 5 stars. Please e-mail us at NubianCircleClub@aol.com if you have comments.