M.M. Vaughan. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9065-8
Vaughan (Six) imparts sophisticated social commentary in this tale of friendship with a futuristic twist, told alternatively in the voice of 12-year-old Danny and in the journal entries of his friend Eric, nicknamed Slick. Danny immediately conveys that Slick is dead, having been murdered six months earlier, that Slick was an android, and that Danny is publishing his journals to lead to Slick’s killers’ capture. Slick mostly befriends popular kids when he moves to town, but he and Danny gradually bond over an online game, Land X, as well as Danny’s work building a computer. Danny finds many aspects of Slick’s life unsettlingly odd, from his perpetually smiling parents to his weekly dentist appointments and extreme sleep habits, but it still comes as a great surprise to both when they learn that Slick is a robot. The android’s stilted dialogue adds to his convincing character portrayal, and his journal entries reveal obsessions with certain brands and Land X, both of which hint at the hidden agenda behind his creation. Along with expected messages about choosing friends wisely, Vaughan offers a critique of consumerism for middle-grade readers who are ready to fight the power. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/17/2019
Release date: 03/26/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-4814-9066-5
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