Brother from a Box
Brother from a Box

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Annotation: Sixth-grader Matt Rambeau finds out what it is like to have a brother when his father, a computer genius, creates a robot kid that goes to school with Matt, plays, does chores, fights for his "life" when chased by spies, and becomes a part of the family.
Catalog Number: #74891
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Bruno, Iacopo,
Pages: 281 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-42659-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-72667-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-42659-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-72667-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011033973
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In Kuhlman's latest, the mysteries of family ties get an entertaining twist. Narrated by sixth-grader Matthew Rambeau, it tells the story of a brother who appears suddenly d without the knowledge of his mother. How can this be? Matthew's father is a computer genius who has worked with his own brother, based in Paris, to create two robots who look and behave like 12-year-old boys. With this unlikely premise, Kuhlman proceeds in a logical fashion: the mother is deeply perturbed, while narrator Matthew can't believe his luck. Complications arise when a classmate learns the truth about robot brother Norman, but more menacing are the strangers who may be out to steal Norman. Although most of the characters outside of the family are caricatures, Kuhlman winningly captures the Rambeau family. Most affecting is the robot developing human emotions at the same time his family grows attached to him, as well as the details of a real-life brother who died before Matthew was born. Bruno's black-and-white illustrations accentuate the humor of this involving, sf-laced story.
Horn Book
Matt Rambeau never expected a robot for a brother, but this kind of thing happens when your dad is a brilliant computer scientist. His family fights about the surprise addition, only coming together when spies try to nab the bot. Matt's goofy narration has appeal, but a villainous subplot and easy resolution drown out the greater theme of what truly makes a family.
Kirkus Reviews
Who wouldn't want a French-speaking, beret-wearing robot for a brother? When a peculiar package arrives from France, 12-year-old Matt unpacks a robot. He is not all that surprised to learn that his father and uncle, both genius computer scientists, have created two robot children and plan to have them live as members of their respective families for a year before revealing their existence to the world. Matt adapts quickly, dubbing his new brother Norman and helping him to get used to life in America and the routines of school and family life. It's not all smooth sailing, though--Matt's mom is disturbed to discover how much Norman looks like a child she lost years before, Norman suffers from a computer virus and suddenly a couple of strange men seem to be paying too much attention to Norman and Matt. Written in Matt's clever, casual and funny voice, this is a page-turner filled with fun, intrigue and suspense that sneaks in some important and timely questions. What does it mean to be human? How far should science really go in the name of preserving, protecting or even recreating life? How does profound grief affect our decisions and relationships? Equally entertaining and thought-provoking, this one will appeal to science-fiction and suspense fans as well as those readers who tend toward more character and relationship-focused selections. (Science fiction. 9-12)
Publishers Weekly
Kuhlman (The Last Invisible Boy) offers up a quirky story of a boy and his robot. Twelve-year-old Matt Rambeau gets a surprise when a large crate from France arrives at his New York City apartment. Even more surprising, it contains the world-s most advanced, most realistic robot, which looks just like a stereotypical French boy; Bruno pictures the robot, which Matt promptly names Norman, wearing a striped shirt and beret. It turns out that Norman is part of a project Matt-s father and uncle have been working on, and now Matt gets to help Norman adjust to and blend in with society. Hijinks ensue, especially when Matt realizes dangerous people are out to steal Norman for their own nefarious ends. This mixture of action and humor is recounted in Matt-s idiosyncratic narration, which is full of non sequiturs and bounces from topic to topic in chapters that range from a paragraph to several pages. Bruno-s illustrations, not all seen by PW, add to the story-s overall goofy charm. Ages 9-12. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writer-s House. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 3&11;6&12; Matt Rambeau is living the dream of any red-blooded 12-year-old boy&12;his new brother is a robot. Norman arrives from France in a crate, and though he is a "bionically modified life-form," he looks just like a regular kid. Sure, he's a bit of a show-off, but Matt warms up to his role as protective older brother when he realizes that someone is trying to steal his new sibling. This book is bursting with kid appeal&12;the premise alone will grab many a reluctant reader, and comic-book-style illustrations only add to the story's charm. Unfortunately, the writing is somewhat flawed. The plot doesn't really take off until the thieves come into the story, but the main turnoff is Matt's narrative voice, which more closely resembles that of an eight-year-old than a middle schooler. Nonetheless, most tweens will gobble up descriptions of Norman's antics while wishing for a robot brother of their own.&12; Sam Bloom, Groesbeck Branch Library, Cincinnati, OH
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School Library Journal
Word Count: 54,973
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 151719 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 820L
Guided Reading Level: T

I have a new brother.

His name is Norman.

He arrived six weeks ago in a big wooden box.

And that was when the trouble began.

Excerpted from Brother from a Box by Evan Kuhlman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

One new brother—assembly required. A “page-turner filled with fun, intrigue, and suspense” (Kirkus Reviews) from the author of The Last Invisible Boy.

Matt Rambeau is officially a big brother—to a robot! Matt’s super-computer-genius dad is always getting cool tech stuff in the mail, but the latest box Matt opens contains the most impressive thing he’s ever seen: a bionically modified lifeform that looks human and calls Matt “brother” (in French)!

Norman turns out to be a bit of an attention hog and a showoff, but Matt’s still psyched to have a robotic sibling—even if he flirts with (ugh) girls. Then strange things start to happen. First a computer worm causes Norman to go berserk, and then odd men start showing up in unusual places. Matt soon realizes that someone is trying to steal the robot—correction—his brother!

In this zany, action-packed story with spies, skateboards, and plenty of artificial intelligence, acclaimed author Evan Kuhlman gets to the heart (and motherboard) of one of the most special relationships known to man (or machine): brotherhood.

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