Unless you are a writer I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people think its much easier to write for children. I think it’s just a hard writing for kids as it is for anyone else.
Now add to the challenge of writing, the additional tasks of making the writing educational and inspiring without it being blatantly so - well there’s a whole other level of difficulty.
So then, Mike McRae and Tom Dullemond are to be congratulated because I think they have done a very good job with The Machine Who Was Also a Boy.
Our protagonist Pandora lives with her Dad. Not her biological Dad mind you but the only man she has ever known as a father. Her mother died last year and there’s some tension between Grandma and Dad and whether or not he’s really fit to take care of her. Pandora’s not doing so well at school either. After some stern words from her teacher she participates in the school science fair to show increased commitment to her studies. It’s here that she unmasks the class “con man” Declan, who was using deception and technology to try and win. This brings her to the attention of a Mr Cogito Ergo Sum and begins her very strange adventure full of philosophical conundrums.
Story is foremost in The Machine Who Was Also a Boy, which is why I think it will succeed. There are philosophical conundrums but they are suborned to the narrative rather than being the reason for its existence. So you have drama, adventure, imaginative weirdness that kids love and a little bit of the fundamentals around learning to think for yourself.
Excellent middle grade fiction and not to bad for us older thinkers either.
This book was provided at no cost by the publisher.
You can purchase The Machine Who Was Also a Boy at Booktopia.