cover image The Superteacher Project

The Superteacher Project

Gordon Korman. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-303279-8

When new teacher Mr. Aidact arrives at Brightling Middle School, the students aren’t initially sure what to make of him. He can catch spitballs in midair and recite the lyrics to any song, coaches the field hockey team to victory, and makes detention fun. While he quickly becomes the school’s most popular teacher, dedicated rule-breaker Oliver Zahn and his partner-in-crime Nathan Popova, both seventh graders, suspect that Mr. Aidact is hiding something. They soon discover that he’s actually a robot created by the United States Department of Education, who was secretly assigned to Brightling for training and research development. But when Mr. Aidact’s future is jeopardized, it’s up to his students to save the day. Primarily told via three alternating student perspectives, Korman (The Fort) delivers an astute exploration of the student-teacher dynamic and a pensive examination of a robot’s potential to experience human emotion. While a majority of the narrative is spent laying the groundwork for Mr. Aidact’s flourishing relationships within the school community, Korman also lends ample space to the supporting cast and their myriad interpersonal trials and triumphs, making for a keenly rendered, fast-paced read. Characters present as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Jan.)