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Hate Cell

A Casey Templeton Mystery

by Gwen Molnar

1 rating
5 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 1
list price: $11.99
also available: eBook eBook
published: 2009
publisher: Dundurn Press
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 15
7 to 10
Reading age:
12 to 15
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Hate Cell: A Casey Templeton Mystery

Thirteen-year-old Casey Templeton has recently moved with his family to his father’s home town of Richford, Alberta. One night, seeking refuge in an abandoned farmhouse from a winter storm, he discovers the unconscious body of his science teacher Mr. Deverell. While he searches for something to make a fire with, he discovers an attic containing sophisticated office equipment, and racist posters and flyers. Somehow, his science teacher is involved. Casey, his hacker brother Hank and the RCMP all get involved in the mystery, leading Casey into a world where hate is marketed on the internet, and innocent people are preyed on by bigots and bullies.

Gwen Molnar’s latest novel is a quickpaced, thought-provoking story with strong appeal for reluctant teen readers. An observant reader will be able to follow the clues and start piecing things together before the story concludes. Casey is a sympathetic and believable teenage boy. He happens upon a mystery by being somewhere he shouldn’t, and his motivations for wanting to solve the crime are more complex than natural curiosity.

Molnar also raises several interesting and important themes in this novel about prejudice, and hate, and how it is perpetuated over the internet, making this an excellent book for discussion. The hateful acts and the prejudices surface in Casey’s town, but Richford is by no means the origin, nor the only place they occur. Internet chat rooms are heavily connected to the violent acts around town, and readers will gain a good understanding of how easily kids can be drawn in.

Whether there will be further adventures with Casey Templeton or this is a standalone novel, readers will find this an eyeopening and highly satisfying mystery that will keep them thoroughly engaged until the end.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2009. Vol.32 No.3.

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Thirteen-year-old Casey Templeton has recently moved with his family to the southeastern Alberta town of Richford. One night Casey seeks refuge from a snowstorm in an abandoned farmhouse and stumbles upon his nearly frozen, unconscious science teacher, Mr. Deverell. Casey attempts to revive his teacher and searches the house for something to make a fire with. In the attic he makes a frightening discovery – a sophisticated office filled with computers, a printer, and racist posters and flyers!
Richford is harbouring a vicious cell of white racists who are targeting everyone they deem "alien." Somehow Mr. Deverell is connected to the dangerous organization, and so, too, are other residents, young and old, in Casey’s new town.
Soon the RCMP and Casey’s hacker brother, Hank, get involved in the mystery, but it’s Casey who leads the investigation into a warped world where hate is marketed on the Internet and innocent people are preyed on by bigots and bullies blinkered by their own prejudices.

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Contributor notes

Gwen Molnar paints and writes in Edmonton, Alberta.

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About the Author

Gwen Molnar

Gwen Molnar is a poet, painter, and writer of children's fiction, including Hate Cell, the first Casey Templeton Mystery, three poetry collections for children, as well as many other books. Her family memoir, At Home in Old Strathcona, will be published in 2014. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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