The Trouble With Robots

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A book cover with a light blue background and a large yellow robot in the center, surrounded by kids drawn in a cute cartoon style. The center two kids are arguing. One has wavy red hair and blue headphones, while the other has straight blond hair and is holding a notebook. Around them, the rest of their team looks annoyed. One kid has brown hair with gears shaved into it and looks irritated. Beside him a girl with long brown hair is watching the argument and looking bored. To the other side a Black boy with glasses is filming, and beside him a bow with golden brown hair is holding up his hands trying to make peace. Atop this image, the story title says “The Trouble With Robots” with the tagline “It’s easy to fail on your own, it’s harder to win as a team.”

Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. These polar opposites must work together if they have any hope of saving their school’s robotics program.

Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids.

So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths.

Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption?

An excellent pick for STEAM enthusiasts, this earnestly told narrative features a dual point of view and casually explores Autistic and LGBTQ+ identities.

Cover art by Kris Mukai, design by Maria Fazio, and art direction by Adela Pons.

The Problem with Gravity

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A blue parakeet and a yellow parakeet sitting in a box and staring at the camera.
A digital art image of a cardboard box full of green gears and metal. The box has a paper taped to it that says "spare gears and other parts"

Jonah Heller at Peachtree has bought Young Engineers by Michelle Mohrweis (The Trouble with Robots). This middle grade contemporary novel follows Maggie, an autistic seventh grader with a love of all things space, who finds herself paired together on an engineering project with baton twirler Tatum, aka her biggest crush. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Emily Forney at Bookends Literary sold world rights.

Lily MacGuffin

Join autistic Lily MacGuffin in three early reader books from Collins Big Cat as she explores the impossible in her aunt's antique shop, solves problems, and goes on adventures with her friends.

~More details coming soon!~