Peter's Reviews > Robot Zot!

Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka
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Dec 13, 12

Read in October, 2012

I've become a fan of Jon Scieszka. He grew up with 4 brothers, is involved in education, and writes for boys.

James, who is six, thought this was fun, but not awesome. I agree. A good read, not one we'll buy. I think if Will (eight) had read it when he was younger, he would have liked it. He's more interested in Robots than the others, but has been reading chapter books for a couple of years now.

While they aren't all hits, Scieska's books consistently interest my boys. Smash Crash was a bigger hit both with James and with Charles (three). They are both still into trains and cars. Scieska's autobiography, Knuckleheads, was awesome. The boys all loved what I let them hear of it. There were a few parts--OK, most of the parts--that my wife didn't approve of. The chapter where the family cat vomits in the car on a road trip scored both very high and very low marks in our house. Can you guess who didn't approve?

My kids were doomed before they were born to be readers, but, like most boys, are simply not interested certain books (We've found that books their friends read usually get immediate traction, even when they aren't that good. Mom and dad picks..., not so much). There is a growing body of literature that is targeted to interest boys, and I think it is an important tool for narrowing achievement gaps and encouraging competent reading skills in boys, especially at-risk boys. If you struggle to get your boys to read, check out titles by Jon Scieszka. He writes and compiles stories for boys of all ages. Robot Zot is great for 2-7 year olds depending on reading level and interests. If you have an older reader, check out his Guy's read series. The audiobook of him reading his autobiography, Knuckleheads, is more for adults, but has some stories most boys will love. I didn't get into the Stinky Cheese Man, but I haven't tried since I had kids. My kids think the title is hilarious.

--Peter
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