Jinxed
Jinxed
$14.44

Series: Jinxed   

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Annotation: After fourteen-year-old Lacey Chu repairs a highly advanced smartphone/robotic pet companion, or baku, called Jinx, the baku gets her into her dream school, Profectus, where she is exposed to dangerous secrets.
Catalog Number: #192486
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 328 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-492-68374-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-492-68374-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019024230
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Kid-genius Lacey Chu is determined to join the Profectus Academy of Science and Technology in her quest for a career developing bakus, robotic animal companions with the utility of a smartphone. A disappointing rejection seems to end her dream, until she comes upon a broken-down, black-cat baku named Jinx. After she repairs it, her newfound "pet" somehow gets her into the school, and the mysteries grow from there. Readers will find in Lacey a lovable underdog with resourcefulness, imagination, and undeniable chutzpah. With her considerable skill, she's a force to be reckoned with e that even the looming, all-powerful Moncha Corp., creators of the baku, can't predict. As Lacey unravels dark secrets, she learns the importance of loyalty, how to adjust to new friendships, and how far to pursue a dream that means hurting others along the way. McCulloch's riveting tale will speak to children interested in STEM as well as any reader interested in intelligent, rapidly paced sf mysteries.
Publishers Weekly
McCulloch-s (The Oathbreaker-s Shadow) vividly imagined Toronto-set middle grade series opener intertwines smartphone technology with the hallmarks of classic science fiction via a fun, insightful narrative and bright voice. Lacey Chu, 12, lives with her mother in a -corporate mini city- that-s grown up around the campus of Moncha Corp., developer of baku-robotic companions that blend companionship with smartphone utility. Her dream is to begin seventh grade at the highly competitive, corporate-run Profectus Academy with an eye toward becoming a baku creator like her father, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Lacey is rejected despite excellent mechanical and coding skills, but when she rescues a nonfunctioning, battered baku-a cat that she names Jinx-she-s suddenly admitted. After spending the summer repairing Jinx, she joins Profectus-s hypercompetitive world, navigating friendships, social changes, academic excellence, and her decidedly and uncharacteristically headstrong baku. With a sharp eye toward the rising awareness of device addiction and a keen sense of wonder, McCulloch-s tale is a feast for the imagination that celebrates women in STEM fields. Ages 8-12. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, the Bent Agency. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 37 Lacey Chu has been working her whole life toward being accepted to the elite Profectus Academy, a junior division of MonchaCorp, makers of the ubiquitous "baku" (part smartphone, part robotic pet). Admittance to the school comes with financial support, prestige, a guaranteed school-to-corporation pipeline job, and a top-level baku. Unfortunately, despite her expert fabrication skills, Lacey is rejected from Profectus, or is she? When she fixes a broken and abandoned baku, she finds herself on the fast track after all. Jinx, her found cat baku, is more than he seems. Unlike other bakus, he can think and act for himself, and he can connect deeply with his human partners. With Jinx at her side, Lacey quickly becomes embroiled in the school's Baku Battle culture (a science fair meets the "Hunger Games") and in the dangerous dark side of MonchaCorp. Marketed as the " Golden Compass for the digital age," this title doesn't have much in common with the "His Dark Materials " series beyond the animal companionsit's an exposition-heavy ode to capitalism that leans heavily on common tropes (a mysteriously missing parent, a broke kid at a fancy prep school, a school obsessed with gratuitous battle culture, a well-connected nemesis, and a cute older boy). An unquestioned admiration for start-up culture and tech monopolies is woven into the book's themes, although the evils of corporate competition are also addressed. But for all that it is an enjoyable read with just enough genuine friendship and suspense to draw readers in. The novel ends on a predictable cliffhanger, opening the door to sequels. VERDICT A thin but a fun read. Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
ALA Booklist (11/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (12/1/19)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7

"I raced through this book...a little bit Golden Compassand all adventure."--Amie Kaufman,New York Timesbestselling author The Golden Compassfor the digital age! When a coding star enters an elite technology academy, she discovers a world of competition, intrigue, and family secrets--plus a robotic companion that isn't what it seems. Lacey Chu has always dreamed of working as an engineer for MONCHA, the biggest tech firm in the world and the company behind the "baku"--a customizable "pet" with all the capabilities of a smartphone. But when Lacey is rejected by the elite academy that promises that future, she's crushed. One night, Lacey comes across the broken form of a highly advanced baku. After she repairs it, the cat-shaped baku she calls Jinx opens its eyes and somehow gets her into her dream school. But Jinx is different than any other baku she's ever seen...He seems real. As Lacey settles into life at school, competing with the best students in a battle of the bakus that tests her abilities, she learns that Jinx is part of a dangerous secret. Can Lacey hold on to Jinx and her dreams for the future? "With a sharp eye toward the rising awareness of device addiction and a keen sense of wonder, McCulloch's tale is a feast for the imagination that celebrates women in STEM fields." --Publisher's Weekly, STARRED review


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