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Sir Machinery
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Sir Machinery

4.57 of 5 stars 4.57  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A mechanical robot with a computer brain is helped by the wizard Merlin to overcome the evil forces encroaching on the earth.
Unknown Binding, 155 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by Follett
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A guy finds the most deserted Scottish castle he possibly can to work in secret on his robot, and before he even gets a chance to play with it test it out it gets stolen by brownies for a battle with demons. What the heck is this world coming to?
I absolutely loved this book as a child.
Most of you were probably introduced to it in the 1970's through books promoted by Scholastic's Weekly Reader's club at your elementary or middle school. I was influenced a great deal by that wonderful book and desired for many years to locate and thank Mr. McGowen, personally. Recently I was finally able to talk with Mr. McGowen himself, now aged 86, still living in Illinois. He wrote 73 books for Follett and Scholastic, among other publishers, and was an
Nov 30, 2010 Jeffrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeffrey by: John Ewing
I have been thinking and thinking...I think this is the first fantasy novel I ever read. I was in fourth grade, riding on a bus to a field trip. A friend of mine had just finished a book with no covers (He had torn the cover off for some reason.). After he finished it, he handed it to me and said, "You have got to read this book!" So I did. I loved it. I thought about it for 30 years. Today I just finished reading (out loud to my daughter this time) it for the second time in my life. It is no le ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Relyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jeffrey Lawson
Recommended to Relyn by: families of tweens
This is a current family read-aloud that Jeffrey loved when he was a boy. I got this copy for him as a present one Christmas. The only time he had seen the book since fourth grade was at the Library of Congress, but it has been in his mind all these years. He was so excited to have his own copy. I knew it was going to be great because it was a Weekly Reader Selection. Now we are reading it as a family, and at two chapters in, it is delightful.

We finished it last night and all of us loved it. It'
I loved this book at age 10. And at age 12. And even at 15. Maybe I'd still love it today.

Time travel. Desperate for a hero, a few dwarves enter a castle and open a shipping box. It's labeled "machinery" and contains a "man" covered entirely in metal. A knight in shining armor, they decide, and dub him "Sir MacHinery" (hah!). Can this robot help the dwarves find Merlin and destroy the evil that threatens their world?

A robotics engineer. A witch. Brownies. An old war vet. Scotland Yard, maybe.

Ken Mueller
Whilst browsing the thrift store book racks this one caught my eye and being a huge fan of 1970's quirky kids fantasy novels like MR MOON'S LAST CASE by Brian Patten and Nina Beachcroft's WELL MET BY WITCHLIGHT, I added it to my stack, then I put it back, then I picked it back up again and found a chair and sat down to get a taste. Here's what I found:

"For almost a full minute they stood, silently staring up at the seated figure. Despite their tiny size, they were perfectly formed and proportion
This book was recommended to me by a friend who remembered it fondly from childhood. I did not discover it when I was a child, but as I was reading, I kept glimpsing myself as an avidly reading ten-year-old and I knew I would have adored this book. I think it was one of the Weekly Reader book club selections, it looks like one of them, anyway, that I used to subscribe to as a kid. It has the same feel--well written stories that dared to challenge kids with unfamiliar vocabulary and sophisticated ...more
Anna Rose
My mom got me this novel when I was a kid, and I fell deeply in love with it. Nearly forty years later, I still remember it very fondly.

The wee folk, the misidentification of MacHinery and everything that transpires in the novel caught my imagination and helped to drag me along with it.

I am so very disappointed that it is out of print and truly wish that it was at least available in e-book format. I hope that someone might mention this fact to Mr McGowen (if he has any control over that, as it's
Its been a while since I've read this. This was my first favorite book. It is still one of my favorites. It got me hooked on Fantasy.
Rachel Boling
I wish this book was still in print. I would love to own a copy.

It is a variation of the story of Arthur and Merlin. A scientist from America rents a castle in Scotland, bringing his robot with him. Most of the book is from the point of view of the robot, who has artificial intelligence. The robot is first stolen by small people, and taken to the lake where Merlin is imprisoned. The small people think he is a knight, since he is made of metal, and have him fight the dragon guarding the lake. The
Ashley  Kay
It's this awe-inspiring Children's book that is just as enjoyable to a child or child at heart as an intellectual looking for light reading, I assume. It's willing to get violent, which is fun, but still remains kid-friendly. The dualism of science and magic in this book really makes one think deeply. The book doesn't take itself too seriously either. It's whimsical fluff that is simultaneously old school and contemporary. It's something you wouldn't expect from 1970. I absolutely loved it!
Lori-lynn Holscher
I love this book found it years ago and read it on a cross country road trip to my young boys. But recently read it aloud to an adult friend and my young adult son read it to his girl friend and her family. Funny with elements of mystery, magic and of course the timeless battle between good & evil.
I really liked this book and thought it was an really fun story. I am going to warn anyone that doesn't have a copy and that wants to read it tat copies are really hard to find.
Erik Dewey
A fun children's fantasy novel. Some good suspense and the story constantly moves forward.

The characters were a little dry and their setbacks didn't seem insurmountable but for a children's book, it is great.
My boyfriend recommended this book to me because it was his favorite as a kid. It was a great kids book full of fun adventure.
Nov 21, 2011 Emily added it
I kind of want to read this again, I haven't read it since I was ten and it really stimulated my imagination.
Read it about 25 years ago but I rated it high for being one of the few books that I loved as a kid.
This was an entertaining store when I was growing up and it's amazing because it left an impression.
One of my favorite books as a child. Read it to my kids, really should be back in print!
I read this in fourth grade and loved it. It was the first fantasy book I ever read.
I loved this book when I was a kid.
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Tom McGowen worked in advertising in the Chicago, Illinois, area until 1969. He then became a senior editor at World Book, Inc. Mr. McGowen now writes and lives in a northwest suburb of Chicago.
More about Tom McGowen...
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