Books, Read + Review

The Trouble with Robots By Michelle Mohrweis

The Trouble with Robots is a book following Allie and Evelyn. These 2 girls went to Barton Middle School as eighth graders. Evelyn was very into robotics, while Allie is a failing student about to be sent to Sunrise Academy, a school for problem kids. Going to Sunrise would mean heavy disappointment by her grandmother. Evelyn also doesn’t want to disappoint her mothers and strives for the best. Allie loves to draw. However, she has been kicked out of 3 elective classes and robotics is the only one left. She joins and meets Evelyn, a person who doesn’t exactly appreciate her robotics team. She got disqualified from the tournament at the start of the book because she never let her team do anything, resulting in them leaving and causing them to be late to their match, disqualifying them. She likes to do everything herself, and doesn’t trust her team of DJ, Varsha, Santino, and Alex to handle the robot very well. Allie enters Room 303 and is greeted by Mrs. Weir, the robotics teacher. Immediately, Evelyn discarded Allie, telling her to go fetch supplies. She gets distracted and sketches in her notebook, causing Evelyn great pain, Ev is about to be removed from team lead, so she can’t complain. Evelyn has many motives to succeed, to get scholarships to help her 2 mothers, she wants to join the Tech Tigers, the best high school robotics team in their state. Most of all, she wanted to meet her friend Naiely again, who moved to California and is qualified to the state wide robotics tournaments. If she wins states, she can go to Worlds and meet Naiely again. Allie and Evelyn got off on the wrong foot. Eventually, Evelyn insults Allie’s mother. Allie’s parents are a sensitive subject for Allie(I’m not saying much to avoid spoilers)and her “inner beast” awakens. She goes into a rage and a fight ensues, landing both of them in trouble. After this, they have to work together again to get the team together. Allie and Evelyn start to rebuild their relationship together. However, can they get it together before the tournament, or will they fail? Also, what about the tournament? Do they win and get to States or do they lose not only the tournament but the entire robotics class?

his book perfectly handles 2 characters very well. 27 chapters, each character has every other chapter. This book shows the effects of teamwork, what happens when one ignores the team and what happens when everyone works together and gets along. Both Evelyn and Allie want to avoid disappointing their families. They take different approaches. Evelyn goes for the best and succeeds in grades, not socially though. Allie fails in most of her classes, yet she still hopes to impress her grandmother, despite the odds against her. They both don’t succeed alone yet when they meet they get all their goals accomplished. I really like the moral of this story. Teamwork is an important life skill and the author shows why it is necessary. Without teamwork, there is no way Allie and Evelyn would have succeeded.

My favorite part is where Allie shows her drawing skills to Evelyn to complete the design notebook, a key part of the robot. It requires drawings of robots and Allie gets the details down to every gear spike. Evelyn at first didn’t appreciate Allie’s drawing skills until the design notebook, where she started to include her and everyone in the team. Not only did this mean the design notebook was done, both Evelyn and Allie got along. I think this part made me use my imagination the most, trying to think of how well Allie drew the robot. I like to imagine and that is why this part is my favorite.

I give The Trouble with Robots a 5 star rating. It masterfully displays how teamwork should be accomplished, along with many other things. It is 277 pages long, perfect, not too long and not too short. I recommend this book to anyone, any age. Learning teamwork is important and this book shows how to do it.

Reviewed by Akshith I. at Twin Hickory

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