Robots & Otters & Losing Sleep

thewinteroftherobots The thing I love about reading books by Kurtis Scaletta (who you should know is a friend of mine), is that they zap me back in time to when it seemed my only responsibility and the only thing I wanted to do was read the book in my hand. His books make me read while eating, read while “watching” TV, and read way late into the night so I can find out what happens.

Today his latest The Winter of the Robots is to blame for my advanced tiredness. I even knew what was going to happen and there I was at midnight vowing just one more page, one more page, one more page until I was done. It was worth it.

[one_third][box title=”Kurtis Scaletta Reading” style=”medium”]1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16
Addendum Books 165 Western Ave N, #14
St. Paul, MN[/box][/one_third]

In this one we have Jim, who is tired, sore, and newly crushing on Rocky, the girl next door. He’s tired of doing the arts & crafts portions of the yearly science fair projects he teams up with his best friend, robot-obsessed Oliver, to build. He’s sore because it’s winter in Minnesota and the snow, it never ends — same with the shoveling. And Rocky? Rocky has suggested he team up with her for this year’s science fair. She’s got her eye on some otters near the old junkyard not far from where they live and thinks studying them would be fun.

Jim agrees and ditches Oliver for Rocky, which pisses off his old friend. However, the otter project is cut short and we find Jim ditching the girl for Oliver and the robots. Rocky teams up with Dimitri, a mysterious Russian immigrant with a family filled with intriguing characters. They’re going to build their own robot to take down whatever Jim and Oliver create.

There’s a lot of middle-grade drama, both romantic and robot related, and I haven’t even gotten to Jim’s blackmailing, super-smart kid sister Penny, or his always angry Dad or shady Sergei or kind of shady Peter or the robot battle at the Mall of America or, or, or the mystery living in the junkyard.

Oh. . . the mystery living in the junkyard is the best part! See the junkyard is on the grounds of Nomicon, a mysterious robotics business that went kablooey some years back, taking lives. But it seems maybe something survived the horrific accident. This is what made me stay up way too late last night. If you want to find out what’s going on there, you’ll have to read the book. And you should read the book. It’s so fun and funny. Jim’s a pretty witty kid and a few of his one-liners had me cackling with glee — especially a joke about Edina.

The Winter of the Robots, go for the robots (because: ROBOTS!) and stay for kids figuring out how to maneuver relationships (romantic, parental, and otherwise), discovering their passions, and unearthing the mysteries of what’s going on in that creepy junkyard (and there are otters! Otters & robots, what more do you want in a book?).

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