by Tom Angleberger & Paul Dellinger
Grades 3 & up
Max’s middle school is part of a new program called ConstantUpgrade, where students are tested weekly on their progress in every subject. Everything is computerized, including the Vice Principal, who oversees all testing as well as other discipline issues. This takes place at an unspecified time in the future, when computers and robots have become commonplace in all parts of society. But scientists are still trying to perfect artificial intelligence and robots that can learn. Max’s school is chosen for a robot integration program, to see if a robot can learn to function in an average middle school. Max is picked to escort Fuzzy, the robot, from class to class and help him learn about middle school. Suddenly though, Max is picking up more and more demerits. She also begins receiving failing grades on the weekly tests. It seems like Vice Principal Barbara is out to get her and to end the integration program. Is it possible for a computer to do that? An exciting romp through the future of robotics, as well as a stinging commentary on the nature of standardized testing. Highly recommended for grades 3 & up.