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Eager Paperback – January 24, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reissue edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553487957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553487954
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–In Fox's futuristic world, starvation and homelessness don't exist but the boundary between the haves and have-nots is vast. The best jobs and latest technological inventions go only to the economically elite technocrats and government leaders. Curfews are enforced because marauders often attack these wealthier citizens. LifeCorp, a huge conglomerate, controls much of the new technology. Even though Gavin Bell's parents are only middle-class professionals, they, like most people, have a family robot. Unfortunately, Grumps is an older model that's beginning to malfunction. They can't afford a BDC4, a sleek new robot that is almost unnaturally clever, so they take on Eager, an experimental model secretly produced by a former LifeCorp scientist. Although his older sister is embarrassed by Eager's unattractive appearance, Gavin is intrigued by the robot, which can learn, reason, and even lie. Before long, the siblings notice that there is something strange and frightening about the BDC4s. The machines begin rebelling against their owners, and when they take the head of LifeCorp hostage, it's up to Eager to save him. There is a lot of warmth and humor in this engaging, Jetsons-like novel (complete with talking houses and appliances). The characters are well developed and the action moves quickly. The author also raises thought-provoking questions about what it means to be human, the dangers of technology, and the concept of free will.–Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-9. It is late-twenty-first-century England, and the Bell family's robot butler, Grumps, is wearing out. The family decides to keep Grumps but to take on a new robot named Eager, who is programmed to learn about the world as a human would by making mistakes and searching for the answers to life's questions. Most of this entertaining novel centers on Eager's often funny efforts to come to grips with a multitude of problems, although he and the Bell children also uncover a rebellion by highly sophisticated, humanlike robots. In her debut, Fox creates a futuristic world that doesn't fit the usual sf mold. For example, some problems from the present day (such as a dependence on a nearly exhausted supply of oil) still persist, for example. Appropriately, Eager hasn't learned all life's answers by the story's end. In fact, the conclusion suggests that readers will be hearing from Eager and the Bell family again in a sequel, which will be welcome news to sf fans who will undoubtedly enjoy this effort. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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You will have a good laugh.
purepeace
I read three-quarters of this book in one sitting.
A. Northrup
If we're lucky, there will be a sequel to EAGER.
KidsReads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Gavin and Fleur Bell live in a house that wakes them, watches them, protects them, and feeds them. It's the end of the 21st century in England, and EAGER is full of fascinating details of life in the future: clothes and rooms that change color, wristwatch telephone/computers called "jinns," houses that rearrange themselves, and much more. Yet people remain similar to today, with the same emotional makeup.

The Bell family's robot butler, Grumps, is no longer working properly. He's an older model and is wearing out, serving the family tomato soup for breakfast and otherwise acting oddly. Unfortunately, he's not repairable. Grumps tells us in a poignant scene what it's like to have the house tell him that his family wants to replace him. Fleur and Gavin wonder what kind of new robot they'll get: will he be a tall Greek goddess-like BDC4? Or a soft speaking "monk" model?

Mr. Bell works for the most important agency in the world --- LifeCorp, a company providing transport, food, water, learning centers, and other necessary functions. Technology eases the lives of the people. Robots do most menial work. However, technology also threatens people since robot workers cause many human workers to be unemployed.

Professor Ogden, a friend of Mr. Bell's, gives the Bells a robot named EGR3. "Eager" is the professor's latest invention, and he'd like it to be in a family setting. Eager will actually be Grumps's assistant. The two robots are completely different. Eager thinks for himself, is curious, feels emotions, and is intellectual. The Bells' new robot realizes humans "kill" robots they no longer need; he becomes obsessed with death.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Eager a new robot, developed by Professor Ogden, one of Gavin's friends. What Eager was made for, trying to find out what it means to be alive.

12-year old Gavin Bell and his father are taking the hover bus to Gavin's friend Professor Ogden's house. When they arrive Professor Odgen greets them. He takes them to his science lab and shows them his latest invention. Eager.

A few weeks later Fleur (Gavins sister) calls her friend Chike in Nigeria. He says LifeCorp's (a company that builds robots and other stuff) new line of robots; the BDC4's are locking people in their own home. Fleurs friend Marcia owns a BDC4. It has just locked her parents in her house! Fleur, Gavin, Eager and Marcia go to LifeCorps headquarters and find out what is wrong with the BDC4's while Eager finds out what it means to be alive.

Eager is a really great book. Be sure to read the sequel: Eagers Nephew!

Eager a new robot, developed by Professor Ogden, one of Gavin's friends. What Eager was made for, trying to find out what it means to be alive.

12-year old Gavin Bell and his father are taking the hover bus to Gavin's friend Professor Ogden's house. When they arrive Professor Odgen greets them. He takes them to his science lab and shows them his latest invention. Eager.

A few weeks later Fleur (Gavins sister) calls her friend Chike in Nigeria. He says LifeCorp's (a company that builds robots and other stuff) new line of robots; the BDC4's are locking people in their own home. Fleurs friend Marcia owns a BDC4. It has just locked her parents in her house! Fleur, Gavin, Eager and Marcia go to LifeCorps headquarters and find out what is wrong with the BDC4's while Eager finds out what it means to be alive.

Eager is a really great book. Be sure to read the sequel: Eagers Nephew!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Maxwell on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel by Helen Fox. I am a K-6 librarian and am always looking for new, interesting stories and authors. This science-fiction story is fresh and humorous. The characters are pleasing and I will especially recommend this book to the boys. I was a little surprised at how easily the problem is solved but perhaps she is planning a sequel...I hope so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Pals on June 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is really really good and I'm hoping for a sequel. I picked it off the shelf because the cover was so cute! Then I read the mini bio on the author and found out she was way capable of writing a book. I'm not even done with it but I thought it was so good I had to write a review. I almost cried when, in the story, the butler got run over because the author's writing was so descriptive and you got attached to the characters. I would recommend it to anyone 12 and over (kids under 12 might not have a high enough reading level). :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By purepeace on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I got this book to read aloud to my 9 year old son, but it was so great that I couldn't wait and read to the end of the book after he went to sleep! When I had finished reading it aloud to him we both wanted to read the next book "Eager's nephew" (which was equally addictive!)

The story is about a robot that has been designed to learn from his own experiences. He has emotions just the same as a human. He is a pretty funky design and my son and I had a great laugh about what he is able to do with his arms and legs.

The story is at times touching and other times thrilling.

Eager is sent to live with the Bell family partly for his own safety and partly as a learning experience.

There are some interesting elements such as how he tries to wash a baby when he has never done it or seen it done before, etc. You will have a good laugh.

Social issues of injustice and inequality are important elements for the story.

This is an excellent book in that not only is it a fascinating read but it is also a starting point for excellent discussions on a number of topics including: technology, equality, emotions, reality, family values, social issues, etc.

I could not recommend this book more highly. There are no slow parts in the story at all and it includes wonderful vocabulary that children are not often exposed to these days.

If you enjoy science fiction, you will love this book.
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