The Junkyard Bot

C.J. Richards, illus. by Goro Fujita. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-544-33936-1
In this kickoff to the Robots Rule! series, Richards introduces George Gearing, an 11-year-old with a genius-level knack for tinkering with and improving the omnipresent robots of Terabyte Heights. Though George lives with his uncle, who owns a junkyard, and has an out-of-date robot named Jackbot as a best friend, he dreams of earning an apprenticeship with TinkerTech, which all but controls the city. When Jackbot is hit by a car containing Anne, daughter of TinkerTech head Professor Droid, she lets George repair Jackbot with TinkerTech materials, resulting in an unprecedented breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Now a sinister force wants Jackbot as part of a plan to take over the town, and it’s up to George and Anne to save the day. Clever, whimsical, and fast-paced, this adventure never loses its sense of fun as it pits the heroes against unusual mechanical menaces and technological threats. Fujita, a visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation, fleshes out the setting and action with crisp, clean cartoons that invoke a stylized realism and an appropriately cinematic feel. A Working Partners property. Ages 9–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 10/07/2014
Genre: Children's
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