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Didn't Work for Us - a review of "Your Very Own Robot"
on April 1, 2008
If you aren't acquainted with the format, the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books promise some extra fun by allowing readers the chance to make some decisions and take the story line down one path or another.
In the case of this book there are twelve possible endings. Unfortunately quite a few of them are "sub-standard", even from a child's perspective. [My own sample audience is a 6 year old boy.] In one ending, for example, the robot flies into a big pile of ice cream and the president of the company charges you --you become a defacto character -- $800 dollars for the damage; while in another situation the robot leaves you having to replant a neighbors rose bushes because your robot exclaims, "SORRY! I AM NOT PROGRAMMED TO PLANT ROSE BUSHES." Don't know about you, but we didn't find it all that entertaining.
As to an official Reading Level (aka Accelerated Reading or ATOS) none is listed. But the word level is fairly advanced and at least at the 2nd Grade level. Which makes the silliness probably even less attractive since I'm assuming older children would be a bit more discriminating than than my 6 y.o. boy.
Here's an example of text from page 18 so you can judge the level for yourself:
"Now I will try pressing your RUN button," you tell him. So you do--and off he runs.
"Terrific!" you cry, and you turn him off before he can run too far.
"Say, maybe if I let you run fast enough, you could take off, like a plane!" you say. "But, of course, I don't know how to fly a plane. So that might be dangerous."
"Besides there a lots of things we could do in the yard. We could build a fort. That might be fun."
But you keep thinking about flying. Should you try it? Or should you build the fort?
Two Stars ::: Try this one out at the library first. The reading level is fairly sophisticated, but most of the plot endings aren't.