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.




  1. The author has written picture books in the past and her switch to middle grade is pulled off in seamless fashion.
  2. The names of the robots: iPam, Clunk, Sharpie, Data, and Fraction.
  3. Girls can do anything is the theme proudly portrayed.
  4. 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.
  5. A Secret Science Club with its roots going back to 1969 was a great connection as to why it existed in the first place.


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.

(For more visit Carolyn’s web site and don’t miss her pointed view on celebrities who write children’s books).


I received an ARC from the publisher for my honest review. If you have time, please comment below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, New Release and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I agree, it’s great we’ve progressed to showing two science-minded girls. And this book sound really like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Joanne Fritz says:

    Girls plus science equals a winning combination. I hadn’t heard of this book, so I appreciate you featuring it.

  3. Ok, I HAVE to find this for my robot- and science-obsessed daughters. 🙂 Thanks for the review, Greg!

  4. This one looks good. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  5. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I like the idea of robots and fantasy. The fact that the main characters are girls makes it sound even better.

  6. I loved this book! I agree with you, this book would have featured boys 20 years ago. I loved the fantasy aspect of the story. Will wait a month or so to share my review.

  7. I just started listening to the audiobook version–but after reading your review, I want to track down a paper copy to see the illustrations.

  8. Science girls. Terrific. This sounds pretty cute. I will look for it. Thanks for the review.

  9. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Girls and science are a good mix.

  10. Sounds like a terrific read. Plus, robots being alive sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

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