My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Zuto: The Adventures of a Computer Virus” by Udi Aharoni is a fabulous, quirky and imaginative book for youngsters. Tommy’s computer has a virus – Zuto to be precise. But Zuto is a laid back, inoffensive one who rides a motorcycle. He is happy to hang around with his friend, an outdated media program, Super Media 2.0. There is a friendly but dodgy calculator program in Newton and also Silver Shield, a virus fighting program. This extremely likeable but less than promising group join together to fight the worm that has invaded Tommy’s computer and is causing all the trouble. As they do so, kids are introduced to various parts of the computer and they will get an understanding of how they work. For example, firewalls are depicted as curtains of flame that open and close to let safe info through. There are Central Processor Agents who keep everyone organised, much as you’d expect.
Udi Aharoni has a very readable style. He explains things clearly and it never gets complicated. There is plenty of fun in the story but also a very real look at loyalty and unity for the common good. There is a heroic quest going on and the friends work well together. They are a loyal, tight team and that is inspiring. The Zutopedia at the end is a nice touch and explains the technical terms that are used in the book. There are good quality illustrations and all in all, this is a very professionally presented, well-written and well-thought-out book. Both I and my eleven-year-old enjoyed it immensely and learned about the inner workings of computers.