Does your child watch and rewatch Robozuna, Big Hero 6, and every iteration of Transformers? Do they recreate their favorite robotic friends with nothing but toilet paper rolls, tin foil, and hot glue? Do they go full Jimmy Neutron in their science and computer classes anytime there’s a chance they’ll learn about robots?
It’s official: like Poe and Tony Stark before them, your kid is ready for their very own robot sidekick… in the pages of their new favorite book, of course.
Autobots, roll out! to get your hands on the best science fiction books for middle graders—droid style.
The Last Human
By Lee Bacon
In a future where robots run the world without the messiness of humans, society runs smoothly… except for one problem: there’s one last human living—more accurately, hiding—amongst them. When the android narrator XR_935 finds 12-year-old Emma, he and his two robot pals go against the established rules to accompany her on a perilous journey for her survival.
This book is packed with great themes for middle graders around overcoming biases, forging unexpected relationships, and helping those in need. We also adore the narrator’s unique mix of human prose and robot-binary, which provides readers with an engaging introduction to coding.
The Homework Machine
by Dun Gutman
The D Squad’s homeworker-completing robot machine, nicknamed Belch, is solving all of their fifth grade problems. But before long, it’s creating problems too—suspicious adults, private pop quizzes, and eventually, a homework robot with a mind of its own (and the potential to create a serious mess for all of them).
The Homework Machine embraces a unique storytelling approach, and includes diverse characters for every middle schooler to relate to. It’s the perfect escape for every student that has ever dreaded doing homework, while serving as an almost life-or-death warning against cheating—parents, you’re welcome!
By Jarrett Lerner
When Ken and his crew of super-smart EngiNerds find robots on their front porches, they have no idea that Dan, one of their own, has been secretly building and sending them to each member of their nerdy friend group. Robot companions? Awesome! Except that this dream-come-true quickly gets out of hand, with only the EngiNerds to turn things around.
For every so-called “nerd” out there, this novel shows that sometimes you get to be the hero of the story, too. EngiNerds is jam-packed with humorous quips, silly strategies, and affable antics from robots and humans alike, making it one of the best early chapter books for reluctant-to-read young boys.
Machines That Think!: Big Ideas That Changed The World #2
by Don Brown
What’s another word for “machines that think?” Oh, that’s right: robots!
This nonfiction deep dive into the riveting world of technology lets your middle-grade reader into the secrets behind the stories they love so much. From the earliest mathematical devices to the birth of computer programming to the first smartphones and eventually artificial intelligence, Machines That Think! covers the most important robot-related inventions in captivating graphic-novel form.
By infusing comprehensive historical accounts with humor, stunning illustrations, and a light, easy-to-follow narrative, author Dan Brown has created the perfect introduction to the wonderful world of robots. Your child won’t just learn about inventions—they might be ready to think up a few of their own.
The Future of Reading is Here!
Ken the EngiNerd doesn’t have to be the only kid getting exciting packages delivered to their door—your child can receive a kids book delivery through Literati’s personalized kids book clubs.
Their box won’t contain a ferocious farting robot, but it will be smart enough to follow your reader’s progress as they grow. Start with the personalization quiz and Literati will send the best books to engage and challenge your child—stories that match their unique interests, and develop the right skills at the right time.
From robot-run dystopias one box to outer space the next, and from sea creatures to ancient Egypt and back home again, your middle-grade reader will have no shortage of exciting content to spark their imagination and solidify their reading confidence.