Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dillinger is currently scheduled for release on August 16 2016. When Max—Maxine Zealster—befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School’s new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school—the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving sixth grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!
Fuzzy is a book that many kids will relate to despite not living in a time where robots are doing even more of our daily work for us. Max is a student that is trying her best, but seems unable to get ahead or please the people that matter to her most. Who cannot relate to that feeling, I think everyone has or is there right now- even us adults. Fuzzy is a robot programed to learn units own, using fuzzy logic and the ability to make its own choices and desertions. There is plenty of school and friend angst, the adventure of dealing with the technology and those with the money and power to control it, and some fun humor. However, there is also some bigger things going on here. I like there there is a body of community here on human nature and technology- but it does not overwhelm the rest of the story or come off as preachy or a lesson that was the reason for the story. I liked that balance, and many authors fail with that. No one like being preached at when they are reading for enjoyment- at least I do not and I do not expect your readers to either. I found myself lost in Max and Fuzzy’s adventures and wondering how BARBARA because the way she was and how our main characters would come out on top. I was occasionally surprised with the terms the book took, and highly enjoyed the journey.