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Norby's Other Secret (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – December 17, 2009
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Norby's Other Secrets is the second book in the Norby seriesfollowing Norby the Mixed-Up Robot. In this one Norby battles or really hides from the evil Inventors Union that wants to dismantle him to discover the secrets to his anti-gravity capabilities.
Norby discovers who his Father is, sort of, and where his home is, again, sort of. All-in-all a delightful book. He, also, discovers another major capability.
Highly recommended for Middle School level readers and above.
In this novel, Norby is wanted by the Inventors Union so that they can disassemble him to discover the secret of miniantigravity. Even Admiral Yobo wants to find out that secret, but he is considerably less ruthless that the inventors.
The Admiral drops in unannounced to warn Jeff and also to eat some real food. The Admiral has a large appetite and a love of very hot spices. He is busily eating the roast chicken when a thump and a growl come from elsewhere in the apartment.
Checking out the strange sounds, Jeff and the Admiral find a full-grown lion in the bedroom. After throwing the chicken to the lion and waving a chair in its face, Jeff packs sedatives into the meatloaf and throws it to the lion. During this time, Jeff's brother Fargo and Albany the policewoman show up; Albany orders an antigravity car and Norby loads the sleeping lion into it for transport to a nearby zoo.
When agents of Federal Security show up to take away Norby, he and Jeff flee through hyperspace. Norby takes them back to Jamya, but this time the lady dragon Ziphyzggtmtizm welcomes them and even allows them to call her Zi. They are invited into her castle for a bite to eat.
In this story, Jeff is summoned to the large castle on the hill by the Mentor, a large four-armed robot. When he and Norby arrive at the castle, Jeff is confined by a misty force field, but Norby escapes through hyperspace. Jeff's mind is scanned by a computer until Norby can rescue him.
First they stop by Zi's small castle for an old tail rest and then return to earth. For a while, they hang above an icy, snow-covered surface, then Norby takes them to a large and busy arena with gladiators in it, and finally he returns them to the apartment. Norby is really mix-up today.
This story takes Jeff, Norby and their friends back to Jamya in the Wells family scoutship. There they face hungry dinosaurs and angry robots. Then they return to the Solar System to discover an alien spaceship and rogue inventors in the asteroid belt.
The story tells more about Norby's origins and abilities. The robot Mentor is initially hostile, but eventually becomes an ally. Fargo Wells is again rescued from ill-considered actions. Admiral Yobo is finally convinced to protect Norby from disassembly.
Highly recommended for younger Asimov fans (and for some older ones) as well as for anyone else who enjoys tales of space adventures, alien robots, and friendly dragons.
-Arthur W. Jordin