Robots are becoming fodder for conversation in more homes than ever before. But what does it take to build a robot? And what kinds of robots are there? These middle grade books about robots teach us plenty about this marvels of technology, without too much boring technicality. If your kids are into coding, STEM or can’t stop yapping about AI, they’ll love these surprisingly warm and funny middle grade books about robots.
Lawrence has had the odds stacked against him for so long. He and his mom and little sister went from living in Charlotte, NC to a homeless shelter and finally moving in with his grandma while his father is incarcerated. To make matters worse, Lawrence keeps getting picked on at school and getting into fights which results in his getting expelled. While he’s home, he starts going to the town’s rec center where he learns to play chess. But a boy there keeps trying to get Lawrence to fight. Can he find a way to secure a win for once?
After learning the alphabet, learning to count is often up next for toddlers. If you’re looking for books to make the beginning of counting more fun for your kids, these picture books about counting are just what you need. They’re fun and silly but also enjoyable and clever enough that you won’t be bored reading them to your toddlers and even older kids.
A Rover’s Story is the story of a Mars rover (a robot sent to survey the planet, find another out-of-service rover, and help determine whether Mars is suited to human living. The story is told from several perspectives, including that of the rover (whose name is Res, short for Resilience) and Sophie, the daughter of one of the programmers who’s building the rover. After months of testing and tinkering in the lab, Res discovers that he’s experiencing human emotions. His twin rover, Journey, repeatedly tells him that robots should be logical, not emotional, so Res tries unsuccessfully to restrain his emotions. Finally, Res is sent to Mars with a friendly drone he calls Fly. But can he accomplish his mission? Or will his emotions get in the way?
Camping is such an exciting way to spend time outdoors, but not every kid may be into the outdoors at first. The picks on this list of picture books about camping feature a variety of camping stories, with both human and animal protagonists. Whether your family is big on camping or looking to get into it, these picture books are sure to light a fire!
As I read more books with middle school chess players, I get more and more curious about the game. Most recently, I read Chrystal Giles’s Not an Easy Win and the chess element was so intriguing. Unlike my little brother, I’m not a massive chess player but it’s something I’d definitely love to learn in my lifetime. For this list of middle grade books about chess, I’ve compiled a small group of fiction and non-fiction titles centered around the game.