Monday, September 9, 2019

Middle Grade Monday and Review: Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi

Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi. Illustrated by Corinna Luyken. 240 p. Candlewick Press, October 1, 2019. 9780763694937. (Review of arc courtesy of publicist.)

Middle Grade Monday features Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi. Eleven-year-old Penny Rose is new to town. She might've won a couple of science competitions, but making new friends is not her strong suit. She prefers to hole up in a shed in her backyard building robots. She also keeps a "conversation" notebook to help her interact with her peers. She may be on the autism spectrum. This is not explicitly stated. She is very observant. The methodical and logical way she allows the blossoming of a friendship with equally quirky Lark is so endearing! Lark is an outlier as well. Her passion is birds and all things birding. But she brings a unique perspective to Penny Rose's interest in her robots. You see, Penny Rose has created some unique robots from spare parts. Each one has a different personality and Lark helps to encourage their talents. 

Still, Penny Rose is not quite confident in this new friendship and when she receives notes stating that a secret science club is interested in her joining, her commitment to her friendship with Lark wavers. 

Oh my. This book! This book! Not only is it a sweet story of fledgling friendship, but, science! Whoa! Science! Penny Rose does not equate an interest in science with popularity and so, her mind is blown when she learns about who belongs to the secret science club. Can she keep her two worlds separate?

Black and white illustrations add to the interest. Spot on dialog, enticing intrigue, and an unabashed love of science make this friendship novel stand out. Engaging, humorous, suspenseful, this is one to hand to a multitude of readers. 

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