Friday, June 20, 2008

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

I recommend this book for: grades 3-5

What kid doesn't dream about having a homework machine? Probably even before Shel Silverstein's poem planted the idea in millions of heads, kids have been looking for ways to escape homework without getting into trouble. This book explores what happens when a team of four unlikely companions get stuck together in their 5th grade classroom. At first there is a lot of tension between the new kid, the smart girl, the not-so-smart girl, and the genius/loser (they're definitely archetypes, but each character is interesting and not just a stereotype) - until genius Brenton tells them about his homework machine. Suddenly he's much more popular - but is it really a good idea to share his invention? What happens if they get caught?

A fun read, with the interesting premise and the growth of the characters and their relationships. One I definitely recommend to the older elementary crowd!

- but there are important spoilers in the first one, so I wouldn't recommend reading that!

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