Friday, March 10, 2023

Today's read... Robot Rebellion by Rie Neal

Today's read came out only a week or two ago and is the forth in a chapter book series, which centers around science/technology and a school club. I have read one of the other books in this series and enjoyed it quite a bit. Since this one involves a robot and some mishaps, I was sure it would be entertaining, too. Let's take a peek and see if it's as fun as the cover suggests.

Astrid the Astronaut #4
by Rie Nea
Illustrated by Talitha Shipman
Chapter Book 
ages 6 to 9
109 pages

This is the fourth book in the Astrid the Astronaut chapter book series about a young girl determined to be the first hard-of-hearing astronaut in space!

When Astrid and the rest of the Shooting Stars find out that their teacher, Ms. Ruiz, is about to celebrate a big birthday, they band together to create the perfect gift. Her big day happens to be the same as the upcoming robotics competition and they decide to do something there. With the help of Astrid’s big sister, Stella, they program their robot to do a fun dance and give Ms. Ruiz a sweet surprise.

But on the day of the competition, the data for the Shooting Stars robot somehow gets mixed up with another one! Will their fun present end up being a major malfunction?



A little school drama and tons of robot fun make this an entertaining read, which is easy to enjoy.

Astrid and her friends in Shooting Stars are super excited to learn that one of the latest rages in robots has been donated to their tech-club...just in time for an upcoming competition. It so happens that their teacher also has her birthday at that time but with everything going on, has no time to celebrate. Astrid and the other come up with a way to fit all of it in with a huge surprise, but only if they can make it work.

This is the forth book in the series, but these can be read as stand-alones. Astrid is an optimistic character, who loves a tech challenge, especially if it can be connected with space. She also has a slight hearing impairment, which the author works in smoothly and doesn't allow it to define Astrid. Mostly, Astrid enjoys challenges and working with her friends. Plus, there's a nice sense of family support, especially from the older sister's side in this tale.

Readers, who have a good grip on words, won't have trouble with the vocabulary, while still being furthered in their reading skills. The font is larger for reading ease and broken up through lovely illustrations, which display the characters in a positive light. The story flows along quickly, using a nice balance between dialogue and descriptions. There's a tiny bit of imagination built in, but most of it stays pretty true to reality. There are some friendship difficulties, which reflect things readers themselves might run across, but all of these are worked out nicely. I do enjoy the mix of technology with the school life, since it does bring across the subject in a fun way, which will awake readers' interest. So, it's a nice read in many different ways.

And here they are...

Rie Neal is a children’s book author who loves all things space. Growing up, she was often dragged on her grandfather’s unauthorized tours of NASA’s Ames Research Center, which she didn’t appreciate enough at the time. Eventually, though, she became a full-blown space fan, and began to write space-related books for kids. She also has a doctor of audiology degree from the University of Iowa and is nationally certified as an audiologist through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Today, she lives in the Silicon Valley with her husband and kids, where they drag people on (authorized) tours of the NASA Ames visitor center. Learn more about her books at or connect with her on Instagram (@RieNealWriter).

Talitha Shipman is a picture book illustrator from Indiana. Her favorite subjects to paint are wild kids and wild animals. Nature inspires Talitha’s painting, and she hopes her work encourages curiosity and creativity in children of all ages. Her books include the Sydney Taylor Honor recipient Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman, American Farm Bureau Recommended Read Applesauce Day by Lisa J. Amstutz, and 2019 IPPY Silver Medalist First Snow by Nancy Viau. Her debut author-illustrator picture book was Finding Beauty. Talitha lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband and their five-year-old wild child, Coral.

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