MY BROTHER, THE ROBOT by Bonny Becker

MY BROTHER, THE ROBOT

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A flawed human child has to cope with a robotic brother who can do no wrong. After Chip fails fifth grade, his disappointed parents tell him that they “don’t want to pressure” him, but they’ve ordered Simon, “the Perfect Son.” Simon is a robot and at first blush he does seem to be flawless. Unlike Chip, Simon has impeccable table manners, his hair is always in place, and he’s a whiz with facts and figures. Naturally, Chip hates him immediately, especially since his father seems to prefer his perfect robotic son to his imperfect real one. This part of the story, Chip’s resentment toward Simon and the relationship that develops between the human and robot brothers, is amusing, insightful and enjoyable. The story goes off track when Simon begins competing on Chip’s swim team. If the reader were willing to buy the premise of a robot brother, then having him compete in a sporting event would probably be no problem—but the competition is so patently unequal that it just doesn’t fly. Using slippery human logic, Chip is finally able to come out a winner. He also learns the moral of the story, which is that that mistakes are an essential part of human nature and while robots are “stuck with only what can be imagined,” humans “get to do the unimaginable.” Despite the implausibility of the second half of the story, the text is clever and comical and kids should enjoy it, imperfections and all. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46792-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001




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