Darla's Reviews > The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
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Sep 15, 09

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Read in September, 2009

(Genre:Children's Fiction) This was another one that we listened to on CD as a family. After starting the story, I almost didn't continue because of the messages that these kids were sending during their narratives (and because my children we listening, too). But my kids encouraged us to go on and so we did. This story is told from the different viewpoints of each of the 4 children involved and a few of the adults. Four 5th graders who have nothing in common, end up sitting together in a group at school because their teacher assigns their seats alphabetically according to their last name. Two of the students are good students while the other two struggle. One of the good students is a genius and builds a machine to do his homework. When the others find out about it, they want to use it too. We know that they were eventually caught as the narrative is each person telling their version of the story to the police. The children share their thoughts and feelings about each other and the homework machine. Gradually their perceptions change and shift. The story does have a few flaws, however. The first one being that the children are supposed to be 5th graders but they sounds more like 8th graders. Another flaw was that there didn't appear to be any penalty for the cheating in the end. They had consequences happen for other mistakes, but the school didn't appear to apply any consequence to their behavior. Other than that, it was a fun story and I enjoyed the characters after I got into the story.
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Lady Darla, I read this book because I selected it as the next read for our Kids' Book Club at the library. I gave it three stars and was just about to write a review about it when I noticed that you mentioned the same two points that irked me a bit as well. I agree with you completely!


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