Go to Homepage   Bonny Becker: My Brother, the Robot

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsDutton Children's Books (Hardcover), ISBN 0-525-46792-4
Normally, I shy away from children's books dealing with common (ho, hum) cases of sibling rivalry. Likewise, swimming meet conflicts hardly grab my attention. My teenage son feels the same way. Why? Been there, done that, read it too. However, if someone found an unusual angle on these age-old problems, like making "Simon the Robot" one of the siblings, well, count us in!

Book: Deborah Donnelly, Died to MatchIn My Brother, the Robot, Bonny Becker takes the age-old problem of sibling rivalry and turns it into a fresh and exciting story. Imagine returning home from school to the news that your parents purchased you a brother -- the perfect son, a Simon Robot, at factory discount! Imagine how Chip, a flawed narrator in the process of failing the fifth grade, feels when his life as an only child changes drastically. His competition proves not only tough, but perfect. Imagine, a Simon Robot for a brother!!

Beneath the fascinating theme of man vs. machine, lies the core story of how a young boy deals with the problem of living up to expectations. And, perhaps while Chip learns about his family and himself, the reader will catch glimpses of his or her own face in the mirror.

So now, you're hooked on the premise, but there's more to this wonderful mid-grade novel. With Becker's use of clear, crisp and concise language, My Brother, the Robot will delight even those new to chapter books. Its easy-to-follow style, coupled with a plot that moves along at a comfortable pace makes it a book kids can actually read, enjoy and finish. With all the eight- to 12-year-old kids who recently picked up The Lord of the Rings only to put it back down again, books like My Brother, the Robot fill a huge need.

Although made of metal, My Brother, the Robot shows a lot of heart.

Lynne Remick

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