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by Tom Angleberger

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From the minds of Tom Angleberger, the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Origami Yoda series, and Paul Dellinger, an adult science-fiction writer, comes a funny middle school story with a memorable robot title character. Reluctant readers and robot lovers in elementary and middle school will enjoy this fast-paced read that shows just


From the minds of Tom Angleberger, the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Origami Yoda series, and Paul Dellinger, an adult science-fiction writer, comes a funny middle school story with a memorable robot title character. Reluctant readers and robot lovers in elementary and middle school will enjoy this fast-paced read that shows just how strange a place middle school can be, particularly when the new student is a state-of-the-art robot.
When Max—Maxine Zelaster—befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School’s new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school—the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving seventh grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!
With a strong female main character who will appeal to all readers, Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger’s new novel offers readers a fresh take on robots. Fuzzy will find its place in the emerging category of bestselling books featuring robots, including Jon Scieszka’ s Frank Einstein series and James Patterson’s House of Robots.
Be sure to check out all of Tom Angleberger’s other acclaimed books for middle-grade readers, including Poop Fountain!; The Rat with the Human Face; Horton Halfpott; Fake Mustache; and the bestselling Origami Yoda series: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus,Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, and Jabba the Puppet. For younger readers Tom wrote the picture book McToad Mows Tiny Island, illustrated by John Hendrix, and for chapter book readers, Tom wrote the Inspector Flytrap series, illustrated by his wife Cece Bell.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The newest student at Vanguard Middle School is Fuzzy, a robot developed as part of a government project exploring advanced artificial intelligence. In order to aid with Fuzzy’s integration into the school, which is already under the control of the ultra-strict supercomputer known as Vice Principal Barbara, Maxine “Max” Zelaster is selected to act as his guide and friend. However, Max and Fuzzy face the anti-robot prejudices of those tired of losing their jobs to automation, as well as Barbara’s increasingly tyrannical micromanagement. Complicating matters, the military keeps pushing up Fuzzy’s development timeline, and someone is out to steal his unique code. Angleberger (the Origami Yoda series) and adult SF/fantasy author Dellinger draw a lot of comedy out of Fuzzy’s challenging acclimation to middle school, and seem to have put substantial thought into the complexity of the software that makes him work (Fuzzy shorts out in the cafeteria after trying to listen to 250 kids talking at once). It’s a fast-paced, entertaining romp that also offers a nuanced examination of intelligence, free will, and omnipresent technology. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Aug.)

"A tech-infused wild ride, with some suspenseful moments and brilliant twists—an ideal book for reluctant readers, young science fans and really anyone who wishes their best friend were a robot."
Shelf Awareness

"Coauthors Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger weave computer concepts into the action, using snippets of programming code to show Fuzzy's perspective. ...The use of code as a storytelling device is funny, and cleverly illustrates the way a young mind processes the overwhelming input of a typical day in middle school."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Angleberger and Dellinger hit the perfect mix of funny and contemplative, speculative and realistic."
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Max is looking forward to starting sixth grade because this year her school is launching a new program, Robot Integration, and Max is excited about meeting the first ever robot student. When she meets Fuzzy, Max quickly befriends him and is assigned to show him the ropes. Not everyone at school is excited about the new student. The assistant principal, an AI computer named Barbara, seems determined to get rid of both Fuzzy and Max. When Fuzzy winds up in a showdown with Barbara, somebot's bound to be reprogrammed. In some ways, this is a typical school story—smart kids, clueless adults, overly tough school administrators, and some bad guys (cyberspies) thrown in for good measure. It's also a futuristic sci-fi novel with a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the evils of standardized testing gone awry. VERDICT An absorbing, fast-paced read and an excellent choice for middle schoolers.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-01
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)

Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Tom Angleberger is the author of the bestselling Origami Yoda series, as well as Horton Halfpott and Fake Mustache, both Edgar Award nominees, the Qwikpick Papers series, and the Inspector Flytrap series. He lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, with his wife, the author/illustrator Cece Bell. www.origamiyoda.com.

Paul Dellinger is a former newspaper reporter who writes science fiction and fantasy stories, many of which are collected in the book Mr. Lazarus and Other Stories.

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