(text & illus.). Seven Stories. 2015. 224p. notes. ISBN 9781609806354. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781609806361. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Supertechie hero, or supertechie villain? The life and work of 32-year-old Edward Snowden command attention, whether one supports his mission to expose the U.S. National Security Agency's omnivorous appetite for data or whether one considers him traitorous for doing so. Cartoonist/reporter Rall (To Afghanistan and Back) is clearly in the first camp, while providing background about both sides and posing questions of universal interest: How much espionage is too much? What groups should be targeted? What kinds of checks and balances should be imposed? And how should dissent about such things be managed? Rall crunches a large amount of information into his narrative, documented in 14 pages of source notes in a presentation that is easy to follow and fascinating. Cartoony, full-color art supports the text-heavy account partly with illustrations and partly with examples, diagrams, attributed quotations, screen images, document excerpts, photos, and headlines. Seven Stories plans a discussion guide.
VERDICT Written for adults but accessible to teens and sophisticated tweens, this work belongs in all libraries and will supply focus and background—if not unanimity—to everyone interested in government oversight issues.

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