Provocative issues that never overwhelm storytelling make this a winner.

FUZZY

Vanguard Middle School’s no place for breaking rules; computerized Vice Principal Barbara sees to that.

Sixth-grader Maxine “Max” Zelaster and her friends struggle to pass the Federal School Board’s nonstop tests in the newly instituted Constant UpGrade program. The kids think they are doing well, but their grades don’t reflect their work. Their cumulative scores are dragged even lower by discipline tags and citizenship infractions, all noted by Barbara’s all-seeing electronic eyes. Enter Fuzzy, the government’s attempt to create a robot that will program itself. Scientists in the Robot Integration Program ask Max to show Fuzzy around because of her interest in robots, but this leads to further trouble for Max at school and at home; Barbara just seems to have it in for her. Fuzzy uncovers irregularities with test scoring and begins to suspect something’s wrong with the vice principal, but can he save his new friend Max while evading corporate spies and his creators’ plans for his future? Origami Yoda creator Angleberger teams up with science-fiction writer Dellinger for this funny, thrilling, and thought-provoking page-turner. Riffing on some of the same issues as Origami Yoda’s second trilogy—individuality and the dangers of standardized testing—the duo have crafted a day-after-tomorrow cautionary tale of friendship with a fuzzy, robotic heart.

Provocative issues that never overwhelm storytelling make this a winner. (Science fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2122-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more