Parents' Guide to

Maya and the Robot

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Marvelous Black girl scientist stars in poignant read.

Maya and the Robot Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Diverse characters, poignant moments, and joy in all things science make this girl-meets-robot story lovely and memorable. Fifth-grader Maya is someone to root for from the start. She's curious about everything and hard working. When her friends move to another class, she's suddenly very lonely. She lives too far away to see them outside of school and now doesn't even share a recess with them. Maya's close relationship with Mr. Mac, the convenience store owner, helps her cope, especially when he knows just what to give her that will thrill her scientific mind.

Maya and the Robot begins with a glimpse of the end of the story, when Ralph the robot starts a food fight in the school cafeteria during the science fair -- so you know hijinks are coming. With that kind of opener, readers may be surprised at the story's sadder side. Maya faces a loss felt by the whole community, even ten years after the event. This loss turns Ralph into more than just a fun toy to show off at school. He's imbued with purpose to help others and help them heal. And what better lesson for budding scientists, especially ones that bring much-needed diversity to the profession, than for them to know how much good they can do in the world if only they set their brilliant minds to it?

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate