The Superteacher Project
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Superteacher Project is Gordon Korman's is another of his hilarious, poignant, suspenseful, cheer-worthy forays into middle school. Here, a motley assortment of seventh graders are in for some life-changing moments thanks to a new teacher. Mr. Aidact is, face it, a little odd, but he knows everything -- no surprise, as he's secretly an android whose AI is off the charts -- and he's always got quality time for his "pupils." Peril and bonding ensue, with never a dull moment, and much food for thought about what makes us human, anyway. And whether machines will replace us, and what we think about it. There's some romantic silliness, like giggly eighth grade athletes who would rather hang out with their boyfriends than practice; a tween who insists a guy is not her boyfriend, meaning he is, when in fact he has no clue; a recently divorced mom, also clueless, flirting with Mr. Aidact. Real-life brands, such as WD-40 lubricant and Dave & Buster's restaurants, are part of the scenery. Girls' field hockey is important to the story. By the end of the story, everybody's pretty much better off than they were before -- and also a bit wiser and kinder.
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What's the Story?
Brightling Middle School has been chosen as the first test site for THE SUPERTEACHER PROJECT. The principal and teachers know what's going on; not so the seventh graders, who don't quite know what to make of Mr. Aidact. Unbeknownst to them, he's a prototype for a line of robotic teachers with off-the-charts artificial intelligence. He teaches all subjects with brilliance. There's no stumping him on rap lyrics. The girls' field hockey team, which barely existed, is now headed for the playoffs thanks to Mr. Aidact's newfound coaching skills. The teachers, meanwhile, palm off all their unwanted tasks on the uncomplaining android, while one of the girls' mothers is romantically attracted to him. Trouble looms.
Mr. Aidact's creator frets, "I feel like Geppetto, watching Pinocchio turn into a real boy. But the lonely wood-carver had it easy.
"Pinocchio never went to middle school."
Is It Any Good?
Seventh graders meet their new teacher, who's secretly an advanced AI project, in Gordon Korman's hilarious, poignant, and heart-filled tale of middle school and lives changed forever. As The Superteacher Project unfolds, everyone from the brainiacs and sports stars to the class clowns and detention regulars agrees -- Mr. Aidact is the best thing ever. Laughs, cheer-worthy moments, creative problem-solving and unlikely bonding ensue as the kids rally round the quirky android, while adults fret about being replaced by machines who turn out to be a little too good at their jobs. Along the way, plenty of opportunities to contemplate what makes us human and what connects us.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about androids, robots, and artificial intelligence, and why stories about them are so popular. Do you have any favorites? How does The Superteacher Project compare?
In the story, adults worry a lot about being replaced by a machine that does their job better than they do -- but also find ways of dumping their unwanted tasks on a machine. Do you see technology as a useful tool or a scary overlord? Or maybe both?
The sport of field hockey is important to the story here. Did you already know about field hockey? Do you want to learn more?
- Author: Gordon Korman
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School
- Character Strengths: Empathy, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: January 10, 2023
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 1, 2023
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