Celia's cellist (Caucasian) mom and inventor (Chinese-American) dad are loving, busy parents whose work and travel mean less time for hand-holding over school and home routines. Celia's unusual tenth-birthday present is exactly right for any typical middle-grade child whose planning and organizational skills are lacking: Her father builds her a robot incorporating the cutting-edge AI vision and sorting technologies he is developing. In short and satisfying order, the robot has helped Celia clean up her room, get her homework and music practice done consistently and make it to the school bus on time, and she's the envy of a neighbor boy who has always wanted a robot of his own. Unfortunately, the robot's programming is also a corporate secret that a rival of her father's would like to get his hands on, and this rival is not above criminal espionage and theft to succeed. A bit of mystery plus solidly believable, complex friend-family relationships and a smart girl who's fearless about technology make for an appealing light read. (Science fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >
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