The Trouble with Robots
Published September 27, 2022
About The Trouble with Robots
Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. Together, these polar opposites must work together if they have any hope of saving their school’s robotics program.
Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids.
So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths.
Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption?
An excellent pick for STEAM enthusiasts, this earnestly told narrative features a dual point of view and casually explores Autistic and LGBTQ+ identities.
What a fantastic, fun book! I’ve never been part of a robotics team, but this book makes the experience very accessible and highlights the fun as well. I really liked the characters and their individual personalities. It wasn’t hard to keep track of who was who once I got a few chapters into the story, because each one was so different than the others.
I really liked both Allie and Evelyn’s characters. They both wrestled with some heavy issues, but they had good support. As they took the risks of opening up, they were surprised by the way their friends came alongside them and accepted them as they were, while still asking for healthy boundaries and accountability.
The scenes showing the team working together were a really bright spot in the book. Once they all figured out how to come together, the whole story seemed to kick up a notch or two. I loved the way the stakes kept getting higher, and I was definitely on pins and needles as they went to that last competition. I loved how the lessons they’d learned about working together and supporting one another became even more critically important in those final scenes, too.
All in all, THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS was such a fun book to read. I enjoyed it a lot, and I’m really glad I had a chance to read it.
Content Notes for The Trouble with Robots
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Allie’s parents were killed in a car crash, and she’s being raised by her grandmother. She doesn’t feel attracted to anyone romantically. Evelyn is autistic and raised by her two moms. She also is attracted to both boys and girls. Other members of the robotics team identify as LGBTQIA+.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Two boys on the robotics team are dating.
Allie has conversations in her mind with her parents when she misses them most.
A boy at school picks on other kids, calling them names and threatening to beat them up.
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