Joseph K. Smith
Rating (0 - 10 scale) 8
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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer TKono
Joseph Smith's "The Substitute Kid" is a short children's
book. It follows the month of a fourth grade girl yearning
for summer vacation with her best friend. Cute little
shenanigans are sprinkled across the pages as sibling
rivalry comes into play. Also, the main girl discovers that
her father--who is a science professor--has made a life-like
robotic replica of her. The girl then uses this robot to
act as herself and literally as a substitute for her. The
robot takes a history test for the girl and earns an A.
Suspicion arises as the father looks over surveillance tapes
and the girl's arch nemesis realizes this "substitution" is
suddenly very nice towards her. The book ends with a
discovery for all that is quite pleasant and touching.
This book is fabulous for young readers. The author gives
the main action away on the back (the girl using a robot)
but does not fully divulge into that scene until at least
halfway through the book. This gives youngsters extra
incentive to read. Additionally, since the chapters are
only a couple of pages each, little ones will not find the
book too hard / difficult to read at once. Great messages
are in this book. When the girl uses a robot to take her
test, it is a history one. The girl does not need help in
math or science. Hence, that stereotype about girls is not
played into. The girl even wears glasses and is an athletic
captain. Also, her best friend is a girl with blond hair
and blue eyes. The main character stays very true to her
self and does not envy other characters or girls' features.
The book subtly gives girls confidence while making reading
fun and cool.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Staten Island, NY USA
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