It’s another edition of MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY with a new middle grade book on the shelves this Fall.
THE PLOT (From Penguin Random House) Nine-year-old Penny Rose has just moved to a new town, and so far the robots she builds herself are her only company. But with just a bit of magic, everything changes: she becomes best friends with Lark, has the chance to join a secret science club, and discovers that her robots are alive. Penny Rose hardly remembers how lonely she used to feel. But then a fateful misstep forces her to choose between the best friend she’s always hoped for and the club she’s always dreamed of, and in the end it may be her beloved little robots that pay the price.
MY THOUGHTS Twenty years ago I would have picked up a book like this to find it was about two science loving boys. Thank goodness we’ve progressed with a story about two girls and their unique science-focused interests. Penny Rose makes intricate robots from discarded parts while Lark is a bird watcher who builds and decorates bird houses.
Numerous full page illustrations appear throughout, each a welcome addition to the nicely paced plot. At its core, Weird Little Robots is a story about friendship. Not only what that means, but the elements needed to make it last. The third person narration stays close to Penny Rose, new to all this friend business. Her choices aren’t always the right ones, but she learns from her mistakes.
There’s never an explanation why the robots are alive, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ll leave it as magic. Each of the robots has a unique personality they only share with the two girls. But when the stereotypical boy bully gets involved their friendship is tested.
The positive messages put forth and the read-aloud potential with the mostly short 32 chapters are the main reasons to give this one a go. Readers will also find messing around with science stuff is hard to resist.
PUBLISHED: 2019 PAGE COUNT: 240
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:
WEIRD LITTLE ROBOTS by Carolyn Crimi
- The author has written picture books in the past and her switch to middle grade is pulled off in seamless fashion.
- The names of the robots: iPam, Clunk, Sharpie, Data, and Fraction.
- Girls can do anything is the theme proudly portrayed.
- The girls create roboTown for their family of robots. It’s full of lights and reused items the robots enjoy. Kids might be building their own after reading about this one.
- A Secret Science Club with its roots going back to 1969 was a great connection as to why it existed in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Crimi enjoys snacking, pugs, Halloween, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. Over the years she has published 15 funny books for children, including Don’t Need Friends, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, Where’s My Mummy?, There Might Be Lobsters, and I Am The Boss of This Chair. Weird Little Robots is her first novel.
I received an ARC from the publisher for my honest review. If you have time, please comment below.