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Norby the Mixed-Up Robot (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – December 17, 2009
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First, let me say that the Norby series is an ideal way to introduce Science Fiction to a young adult or to a middle school student. My guess is that boys will like this series more than girls, but what the hey, maybe girls would like it as well. It is written by Janet Asimov, Isaac Asimov's wife.
As I'm sure you know Isaac Asimov was the Father of Science Fiction Robots. (The Robots of Dawn, the Caves of Steel, the Complete Robot, etc). He's the one who invented the three laws of Robotics; in fact, he coined the phrase Robotics.
Now as to the age of the reader. I would guess that a bright seventh grader would enjoy this series. Jeff Wells, the protagonist is fourteen, that's probably a good mid-range age for the reader. I believe that reading science fiction can expand one's vocabulary and expose one to some new and fascinating ideas; also, it can expand one's sense of wonder and help create a love of reading.
In this book Norby battles against Ing the Ingrate. Now I don't know about you ,but I don't believe that "ingrate" was in my lexicon in the seventh grade. This book reveals that Norby has certain special capabilities, such as the ability to feel emotions and anti-gravity capabilities. He can also go into hyper-space.
To date the series contains the following books, not including the omnibus editions which have their own titles:
* Norby, the Mixed-Up Robot (1983)
* Norby's Other Secret (1984)
* Norby and the Lost Princess (1985)
* Norby and the Invaders (1985)
* Norby and the Queen's Necklace (1986)
* Norby Finds a Villain (1987)
* Norby Down to Earth (1988)
* Norby and Yobo's Great Adventure (1989)
* Norby and the Oldest Dragon (1990)
* Norby and the Court Jester (1991)
The Norby Chronicles (Books 1 &2)
Norby Robot for Hire (Books 3 & 4)
Norby through Time and Space (Books 5& 6)
I highly recommend this book, especially for young adults.