THE HOMEWORK MACHINE by Dan Gutman

THE HOMEWORK MACHINE

Age Range: 8 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

When fifth-graders Judy, Sam and Kelsey discover their classmate Brenton Damagatchi’s homework machine, they think they are on to a good thing and begin to visit him regularly after school. Alphabetically seated at the same table, the brilliant Asian-American computer geek, hardworking, high-achieving African-American girl, troubled army brat and ditzy girl with pink hair would seem to have nothing in common. (They would also seem to be stereotypes, but young readers won’t mind.) But they share an aversion to the time-consuming grind of after-school work. Their use of the machine doesn’t lead to learning—as a surprise spring quiz demonstrates—but it does lead to new friendships and new interests. The events of their year are told chronologically in individual depositions to the police. In spite of the numerous voices, the story is easy to follow, and the change in Sam, especially, is clear, as he discovers talents beyond coolness thanks to a new interest in chess. Middle-grade readers may find one part of this story upsettingly realistic and the clearly stated moral not what they had hoped to hear, but the generally humorous approach will make the lesson go down easily. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-87678-5
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




MORE BY DAN GUTMAN

ChildrenMY WEIRD WRITING TIPS by Dan Gutman
by Dan Gutman
ChildrenYOU ONLY DIE TWICE by Dan Gutman
by Dan Gutman
ChildrenNEVER SAY GENIUS by Dan Gutman
by Dan Gutman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE WIKKELING by Steven  Arntson
by Steven Arntson