When Max--Maxine Zelaster--befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School's new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school--the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving seventh grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes
With a strong female main character who will appeal to all readers, Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger's new novel offers readers a fresh take on robots. Fuzzy will find its place in the emerging category of bestselling books featuring robots, including Jon Scieszka's Frank Einstein series and James Patterson's House of Robots.
Be sure to check out all of Tom Angleberger's other acclaimed books for middle-grade readers, including Poop Fountain ; The Rat with the Human Face; Horton Halfpott; Fake Mustache; and the bestselling Origami Yoda series: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus, Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, and Jabba the Puppet. For younger readers Tom wrote the picture book McToad Mows Tiny Island, illustrated by John Hendrix, and for chapter book readers, Tom wrote the Inspector Flytrap series, illustrated by his wife Cece Bell.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-06
- Reviewer: Staff
The newest student at Vanguard Middle School is Fuzzy, a robot developed as part of a government project exploring advanced artificial intelligence. In order to aid with Fuzzy’s integration into the school, which is already under the control of the ultra-strict supercomputer known as Vice Principal Barbara, Maxine “Max” Zelaster is selected to act as his guide and friend. However, Max and Fuzzy face the anti-robot prejudices of those tired of losing their jobs to automation, as well as Barbara’s increasingly tyrannical micromanagement. Complicating matters, the military keeps pushing up Fuzzy’s development timeline, and someone is out to steal his unique code. Angleberger (the Origami Yoda series) and adult SF/fantasy author Dellinger draw a lot of comedy out of Fuzzy’s challenging acclimation to middle school, and seem to have put substantial thought into the complexity of the software that makes him work (Fuzzy shorts out in the cafeteria after trying to listen to 250 kids talking at once). It’s a fast-paced, entertaining romp that also offers a nuanced examination of intelligence, free will, and omnipresent technology. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Aug.)