Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger & Paul Delinger
Fitting in at Vanguard One Middle school is already tough for Max. Vice Principal Barbara is a supercomputer who controls everything. She is very strict and there are lots of rules to follow. Now she has assigned Max the task of helping a government-issued robot named Fuzzy assimilate. Fuzzy is part of a Robot Integration Program(RIP) that is supposed to teach computers to think for themselves. Both Fuzzy and Max have to comply with the Vice Principal’s oppressive demands and struggle with the anti-robot prejudices of others. What could go wrong?
There’s lots of hilarious confusion as Max and Fuzzy learn about each other. (Fuzzy shorts out in the cafeteria after trying to listen to 250 kids talking at once). Well, who wouldn’t? They form a friendship when Fuzzy investigates the failing grades and discipline tags that Max and the other students are getting. When Fuzzy gets in trouble, Max and her friends come to his rescue.
This is a science fiction book, but it’s really not just about the difference between robots and humans.
“…there was alienation in the standing consciousness that his squareness would not fit the round hole that had been prepared for him.” – Thomas Hardy
It’s about free will and independence. It’s about not bowing to authority when you know it is corrupt.
“It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.” – Albert Einstein
It’s also about being brave enough to be yourself, even if you are different from everyone else.
“The wizards represent all that the true ‘muggle’ most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!” – J.K. Rowling
Readers will be enlightened by this story of how humans identify with the robot and unite with each other toward a common cause.
Books that celebrate Non-conformity
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Silas Marner by George Elliot