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  • Monthly Archives: January 2014

    A Certain October

    by Angela Johnson
    158 pages
    Reviewed by The Book Dealer

    Scotty’s life has been turned upside down by an accident that lands her autistic brother Keone in the hospital and leaves a classmate dead. How is a teen supposed to deal with such life issues when what should be on her mind is Homecoming and a surprising budding romance.


    Angela Johnson once again creates characters that are real. You laugh. You cry. You feel like you are part of the story. This tale of dealing with trauma, as well as the strong relationships that help Scotty through troubling times is a treasure. With a host of minor characters that are her friends, this book is one that makes the reader reflect on the importance of friendships and family.

    Notes to Teachers: mild language and reference to intimate relationships
    Suggestions for Possible Concepts: Family, Friends, Dealing with Grief, Struggles and Perseverance

    The Complete Robot

    by Isaac Asimov
    244 pages
    Reviewed by Dr. Russ Yocum
    Grade 4

    The Complete Robot is the most complete anthology of Isaac Asimov’s short-stories set in his “robot universe.” Though most of the stories originally appeared in various science fiction magazines or other collected volumes between 1941 and 1977, it is convenient to have them all in one edition. With ever-increasing advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and computing power, these stories are just as relevant (if not more so) today than when they first saw print.


    In these collected stories, readers will get to know some recurring characters (Powell, Donovan, and Dr. Susan Calvin – – all employees of US Robots and Mechanical Men Corporation) as well as a variety of robots. Some of the robots are little more than computers or factory-like machines intended for one specific purpose; other robots can learn and adapt. Asimov coined the term “robotics” and with his “Three Laws of Robotics” that appear in many of his robot universe stories has had a lasting influence on modern computing and robotics: “1.…