A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fuzzy is a clever middle school adventure about a robot being trained to act like a student, written by Origami Yoda creator Tom Angleberger and science fiction writer Paul Dellinger. The story focuses on the struggle between relaxed independence and constant monitoring by the authorities. Fuzzy resolves its central conflict with wit and aplomb.
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What's the story?
Maxine "Max" Zelaster can't understand why she's always getting in trouble with BARBARA, the digital student evaluation system at Vanguard One Middle School. She's excited, though, when she's selected to look after FUZZY as part of the school's Robot Integration Program. Her new robot classmate needs help learning how to survive seventh grade, but Max keeps earning demerits every time she tries to assist him. Max wants to help her robotic buddy, but she doesn't want to be expelled in the process.
Is it any good?
There are plenty of stories about robots who wish they were human, but this cheerful, charming, and easy-to-read novel offers a fresh outlook and some original plotting. Fuzzy focuses on some of the absurdities of middle school, and the "Big Brother" surveillance setup ensures that the stakes are high for Max and her robotic friend, Fuzzy. Reluctant readers may especially enjoy the fast pace and snappy dialogue, but anyone is likely to be captivated by this tale of kids learning to feel empathy for a new student.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Fuzzy demonstrates the different ways in which humans and machines "think." Do you think true artificial intelligence will ever be achieved?
Do all students learn in the same way? Do some do better with hands-on experience? What role should testing play in determining how well students are learning the material?
Do robots have rights? Should they be subject to reprogramming whenever their owners are unhappy with them?
- Authors: Tom Angleberger, Paul Dellinger
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School, Robots
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: August 16, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 272
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love science fiction and middle school stories
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