Cory D.’s Visit

Before we talk about all the fun we had, we want to send a huge Thank-You to Books Inc. on Fourth Street for helping to arrange Cory Doctorow’s visit to BHS and to Tor Books for arranging his tour.  Please be sure to support our local independent bookstores and let them know you’re a Berkeley High family so they feel our love!

Cory Doctorow came and talked to about 100 students here yesterday during period 5.  I have to say that he was absolutely amazing–smart, funny, engaging.

He talked some about the new technologies and how they are affecting the way we live and how we go about our daily lives.

Reading from an exciting passage in his new book For the Win, Cory had the audience captivated.  A few kids actually winced when one of the adult characters pulled out a gun and shot a teenager in the forehead.

"And that's when the foreman reached under the shoulder of his ill-fitting, rumpled, dandruff-speckled
suit-jacket and pulled out a cheap little pistol, pointed it at Ruiling, and shot him square in the
forehead.Even before Ruiling hit the ground, one eye open, the other shut, the boys around him began
to roar. The foreman had one second to register the sound of a hundred voices rising in anger before
the boys boiled over, clambering over one another to reach him.  Too late, he tried to tighten his
finger on the trigger of the gun he'd carried ever since leaving behind Fujian province all those
years before. By then, three boys had fastened themselves to his arm and forced it down so that the
gun was aiming into the meat of his old thigh, and the .22 slug he squeezed off drilled itself into
the big femur before flattening on the shattered bone, spreading out like a lead coin. When he opened
his mouth to scream, fingers found their way into his cheeks, viciously tearing at them even as other
hands twined themselves in his hair, fastened themselves to his feet and his arms, even yanked at his ears.
Someone punched him hard in the balls, twice, and he couldn't breathe around the hands in his mouth, couldn't
scream as he tumbled down. The gun was wrenched from his hand at the same instant that two fists drilled into
his eyes, and then it was dark and painful and infinite, a moment that stretched off into his unconsciousness
and then into -- annihilation." (text courtesy of


After the reading, Cory took questions from the students and staff, ranging on topics from the facts behind the practice of “gold farming” on multi-player games to union organizing in the third world.

After the talk, we held a drawing to give away the three Advanced Reader Copies of the book we had received as preparation for the visit, and James was our first winner!

Mrs. Provence and Mrs. Goldstein-Erickson couldn’t resist posing with Cory and his driver  before they left.

We have TWO copies of this book in hardcover; be sure to come in and sign-up on the waiting list to read a copy before school’s out!!!


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