Monday, August 29, 2016
MMGM: Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Max—Maxine Zealster—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 sixth 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!
One thing you can always count on from Tom Angleberger is an entertaining story. I had to seriously suspend disbelief for this one, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Fuzzy is a robot who is supposedly being integrated into Vanguard One Middle School in order to become more human. Unfortunately for Max, who is immediately intrigued by her new classmate, trouble arrives from the minute she starts to help him. She starts collecting poor test scores and dtags (discipline tags) by the dozens from BARBARA the digital vice principal. Max is confused because no matter how hard she studies her scores continue to be poor and her parents continually yell at her about it. But as Fuzzy and Max become friends, Fuzzy realizes that something is wrong and he starts developing plans to help his new found friend. But BARBARA's abilities keep her on top of pretty much everything that goes on at the school and as Fuzzy develops his own programming, so does BARBARA. This reads a lot like a contemporary story except with much more extensive technology (and much better working). Fuzzy is very likable for a robot and Max is definitely a protagonist worth cheering for. If one can get past how well the technology works (unlike real life), this is a light, fun read about the power of creativity and friendship as well as the dangers of conformity.