Monday, June 9, 2014

More Robot Battles for Kids

More robots for your reading pleasure.  Last week I gave you Bot Wars, and this week The Winter of the Robots.  How is that for tapping into the whole STEM movement?  Maybe the VEX robot which has been living on my kitchen island these last two weeks has subliminally influenced my reading choices?  Does that mean next week the books I profile will be filled with Rainbow Loom?

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Title:       The Winter of the Robots

Author:  Kurtis Scaletta

Target:   Grades 5-8

Series:    No

What this book is about: 
Jim is entering the science fair, and this year  he is going to build a robot.  With the help of his genius friend Oliver, they produce one that will battle their friends’ entry into the fair.  The next step is a robot battle at the mall.  While all this transpires, there are family issues for all four friends, sightings of some interesting things at the old abandoned robotics plant, and a death of one of the locals.  Are all these things intertwined? (guess yes!)  And, is the junkyard really inhabited by violent robots that have learned how to program a lethal weapon?

Why I love this book: 
Robotics made fun and suspenseful is always high on my list.  I love it when the science nerds rule the day!  I enjoyed how the robot battles kept escalating in importance until they culminated in the epic robot event.

I also thought the elements of the characters were well done.  Their friendships and changing dynamics rang true for me.

There were two elements that bothered me.  First off, my son is in robotics and actually went to the World Championships this year.  When I told him about what these kids were building and programing robots to do, he thought it was way over the top.  As he said, “my world championship team struggled to build a robot that picks up balls and gets them into a basket, and these kids are programing autonomous robot battles?”  Let’s just say this book gives kids more of a look at the future of robot technology as opposed to realistic robots they could build.  

I also felt like the ultimate robot battle comes too far into the book - I almost didn’t believe it was coming.  What was promised on the back of the cover takes a while and quite a few turns to come to fruition, although when it does it is really good!

Who this book is for: 
Nice middle grade novel for kids who like robots and battles, but are also willing to invest in some human interest and character development.  

Final thoughts: 
I wish these kids could mentor my son’s high school robotics team!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Winter of the Robots  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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