Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, January 1, 2015

House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein...

How I Heard About It:  I love all the books that Patterson and Grabenstein write for middle-grade readers.  They really know how to grab the reluctant reader.  When I was ordering books from my PTO money and saw this title, I knew that I wanted to add it to my classroom collection.  As I was grabbing my backpack and ready to walk out the classroom door on December 19th for Holiday Break, I saw this in the stack, grabbed it, and threw it in my bag. 

What It Is About:  This story centers around Sammy.  He has a younger sister, a mother who builds things, and an artistic father.  Sammy also has a "second best friend" named Trip.  He is the second best friend because Sammy considers his sister Maddie his best friend.  Maddie is confined to the house because she has a health condition that prohibits her from going to school.  One morning before Sammy goes to school, his mother announces she has created another robot.  This is what she does; she creates robots.  Their home is full of them and they all have a different job.  This robot named "E" has been created to go to school with Sammy and be a brother figure.  Sammy isn't happy about this and makes it know to the family and the Robot named "E."  Having the robot at school changes everything for Sammy both positive and negative.  When someone at school steals "E", Sammy does everything in his power to figure out who did it and why.  Little does he know, this robot is not only needed by Sammy, but his sister Maddie as well.

What I Thought Of It:  Read this book in about one sitting yesterday.  It was an easy and fun read.  I love the format of the Patterson/Grabenstein novels and they are perfect for middle-grade readers.  I enjoyed how each chapter was short, the book was full of illustrations, and the plot moved along quickly and the story was extremely motivating.  After reading the "Middle-School" series, it was refreshing to read about a new cast of characters and their adventures.  I loved Sammy and the type of kid he was and what he stood for.  I'm not normally a fan of robots, but they sure worked in this story.

Who Should Read It:  As soon as I finished this book, I knew I wanted to share it with my students.  It could make an excellent read aloud, but this novel should also be in the hands of the reader because of all the illustrations.  I'm thinking I may pick it for a future "Breakfast with Books" book club selection because I know my fourth graders would totally enjoy it.  If you are a fan of the Patterson/Grabenstein middle-grade books, then this one is for you.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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