Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger
From Netgalley: 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!
I really enjoyed this book!. It was funny and smart and really captured what a middle school might look like at some point in the future. The evaluation system BARBARA, is really a stoke of genius from the authors. I so see something like this being developed and forced on schools. As it is right now, schools are so focused on testing and making sure that students are making progress, that there is hardly any time to just have fun teaching and learning. I also liked the fact that BARBARA kept track of how the teachers were performing as well. It was kind of scary to think about how this school could very well become reality in the future. The characters Max and Fuzzy were also well done. Max was smart but a little slow to realize that it was something else causing all of her troubles at school. I also like how Fuzzy’s personality developed throughout the book. You could see the logic of his programs and how he progressed in his thinking skills as the book went on. Fuzzy could very well be the model for future AI experiments. I think a middle school is a perfect setting for a robot to learn to think on its own.
Reviewed from a copy received from Netgalley.com