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The Trouble with Robots

The Trouble with Robots

Current price: $8.99
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Second Star to the Right
2 on hand, as of Feb 21 2:25pm
(Middle Grade )
On Our Shelves Now


Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. Together, these polar opposites must work together if they have any hope of saving their school’s robotics program.

Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids. So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths. Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption? 

An excellent pick for STEAM enthusiasts, this earnestly told narrative features a dual point of view and casually explores LGBTQ+ identities.

About the Author

Michelle Mohrweis is a middle school robotics and engineering teacher and a moderator at the Tucson Festival of Books. When not writing, they can be found launching paper rockets down the middle of their street. They lives with their husband and two dogs in Arizona. The Trouble with Robots is Michelle’s debut novel.

  • STEAM enthusiasts seeking content that aligns with robotics interests will cheer along as a team struggling to find its harmony gears up for a high-stakes competition. 
  • LGBTQ+ communities will appreciate simple explorations of identity in a diverse supporting cast, from a same-sex household to blossoming schoolyard crushes. 
  • Libraries & educators building collections that feature cross-curriculum usage & stories of friendship where characters embrace a variety of individual strengths and passions. 

Praise for The Trouble with Robots

"Full of girl power without ever showing them as outsiders in robotics because of their gender, this brings a diverse team to the page and shows the various skills needed to make a team succeed."—Booklist

"[An] emotionally charged debut. . . . Detailed descriptions of the duo’s specialties juxtaposes STEAM elements—art versus robotics, the abstract versus the technical—in a teamwork-oriented plot that delves into self-discovery."—Publishers Weekly

"Well-written and easy to follow, this novel will have a wide audience as there is something here for everyone. The topic of STEAM mixed with art leads to a heartwarming novel with valuable life lessons for intermediate and middle school readers."—School Library Connection

"Unsubtle but not overwrought, with genuinely inspiring kindness and collaboration found amid pain."—Kirkus Reviews