December Middle Grade Pick of the Month

Middle grade is a term that refers to books written for readers between the ages of eight and twelve. In this column, Erica will recommend great books for children in this age group!

The Trouble with Robots by Michelle Mohrweis
All available formats here

Evelyn is determined to do whatever it takes to lead her middle school robotics team to victory – no matter who she runs roughshod over. Allie is new at school and already gotten into fights – too many fights, according to the principal. Successfully working with the robotics team will be her last chance to prove to him that she deserves to stay at his school. Can the two girls find a way to work together with the rest of the team? Or is a team explosion inevitable?

Evelyn and Allie’s alternating perspectives offer a compelling view of how two people can put aside their differences and work together towards a common goal. By showing both sides of the story, readers can get a better understanding of how everyone has their own struggles, even if they have a hard time expressing that constructively, and sometimes offering a helping hand or a listening ear can be far more effective than losing your temper. Teamwork is important but can be hard to achieve sometimes, but Mohrweis does a marvelous job of showing how to lay out the groundwork for your own teamwork.

Check out the book Kirkus Reviews praised as “unsubtle but not overwrought, with genuinely inspiring kindness and collaboration found amid pain”; PW Annex Reviews described as “a teamwork-oriented plot that delves into self-discovery” with “detailed descriptions of the [main] duo’s specialities [juxtaposing] STEAM elements – art versus robotics, the abstract versus the technical”; and Booklist Reviews called a story “full of girl power without ever showing them as outsiders in robotics because of their gender” and “shows the various skills needed to make a team succeed” while giving “both Evelyn and Allie a chance to show their experiences as eighth-graders handling family money issues, bullies, autism, grief and friendship.”

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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