As funny as a chapter-book version of Robot Zot! Frank Einstein is staying with his grandpa Al in his Fix It shop while Frank's parents are traveling in Antarctica. He combines some of the spare parts and broken appliances lying around and makes a robot, which he tries to charge up with an electrical storm. That experiment fails, but later that night a stray spark causes part of the robotic brain to begin working and Klink assembles himself - a robot with artificial intelligence capable of learning and becoming smarter. Klank also assembles himself, mostly, but without the computing power of Klink's brain. Together with Frank and his friend Watson, they work to build a winning entry in the Midville Science Contest. But will Frank's nemesis, T. Edison, take the prize and Frank's best ideas?
Jon Scieszka is always funny and this book is no exception to that rule. He makes Frank's fascination with science into something entertaining and fun. I know many readers will be wishing for their own robots and antimatter motors by the time they finish the story. The illustrations and the extra material in the back matter just add to the overall zaniness. (And the references to Professor Poopypants are helpful, too.)
Readers of all ages who enjoy inventions, gadgets, and scientific theories will be laughing out loud and cheering for Frank Einstein - and eagerly awaiting his next adventure.
Recommended by: Suzanne Costner, Librarian, Tennessee USA
See more of her recommendations: http://fveslibrary.blogspot.com
Frank Einstein is staying with his Grampa Al while his parents are traveling. Lightning flashes. Thunder booms. Luckily, Grampa Al has let Frank set up his factory and science workshop in an old garage so there is plenty of room for the twenty years worth of "mechanical, electrical and plumbing repairs" he has collected. Frank and his best friend, Watson, are on a mission. They are determined to win the hundred thousand dollar Midville Science Prize so they can help Grampa Al pay off his mortgage and the rest of his bills.
Tonight is the big night. Tonight they are going to test their SmartBot. Shop vac, bicycle horn, baby buggy wheels, a broken talking HugMeMonkey Doll, are all waiting for the moment when it will become a robot that will be able to think, learn and get smarter and smarter by teaching itself.
With the thunderstorm brewing outside they are waiting for the perfect moment when they can harness the all-important lightning bolt that will send the charge through the assembled parts and bring it all to life. Their robot is about to be born.
Science is about to give Frank, Watson and Grampa Al some big surprises. It looks like Frank was right. He really could build a robot that could learn. This robot is supposed to be able to help them build all their future inventions. Imagine the possibilities. So, meet Klink, a self-assembled artificial intelligence entity. Meet Klank, a "mostly self-assembled and artificial almost intelligence entity."
But not everyone is excited and happy about this revelation. Classmate and arch-rival, T. Edison, sneaks on to the scene with his jealous, devious, evil plans. Using his secret forces he is determined to find out exactly what Frank is inventing and make sure Frank doesn't win the prize. The foes have staked their camps and now the klinking and klanking and einsteining is about to begin.
This is Jon Scieszka we're talking about and he has gotten in touch with his inner nine year old boy...not that I think he often isn't in touch with his inner nine year old boy... and all the ingenious, hilarious and highly entertaining shenanigans his imagination can create...and we are all the better for the unleashing of this boy genius at work. He knows exactly what he wished books had been about when he was nine and he is giving them to us with a look in his eye that leaves us wondering if we really can leave this kid alone with the cat. I don't think we should personally.
:) But it would be interesting to see the secret videotape.
978-1419712180 Ages 8-12 180 pages
Editor's note: There are science factoids inserted between chapters to make this a highly educational read.
Recommended by: Barb, abookandahug.com