The Trouble With Robots
Cover art by Kris Mukai, design by Maria Fazio, and art direction by Adela Pons.
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.
The Problem with Gravity
A heartfelt selection for STEAM, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent readers, this companion novel to The Trouble with Robots charmingly explores first crushes.
Autistic seventh-grader Maggie Weir loves spacecraft, but aerospace engineering isn’t the only thing that gives her butterflies: she’s teamed up with the amazing, baton-twirling Tatum Jones for an engineering contest! It’s an out of this world chance for Maggie to tell Tatum, her long time crush, how she feels.
Only, Tatum is distracted with her own troubles at home. Worse still, when Maggie learns that her dad wants to move to Houston, her whole universe gets shaken up! Now she has a big decision to make: does she stay with her mom and remain in Tatum’s orbit, or does she launch her dreams of visiting NASA by following her Dad? If the stars are meant to align between these two, they’ll both have to admit their feelings before Maggie leaves forever.
An easy-to-follow, dual perspective narrative that compassionately explores themes of separation, healthy friendship, and sibling rivalry. Another lovable cast of characters in the Barton Junior High universe!