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




Born to read, forced to work.

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