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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.”

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.

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"

The Problem with Gravity

From the author of The Trouble with Robots comes another heartfelt story told in dual perspective

Autistic seventh-grader Maggie Weir loves spacecraft, but aerospace engineering isn't the only thing that gives her butterflies: She's got a secret crush on an eighth-grader—the amazing, baton-twirling Tatum Jones. And they've just teamed up for an engineering contest! It might be the perfect chance for Maggie to tell Tatum how she feels, except . . .

Tatum is focused on outshining her genius twin brother, and Maggie's forgetfulness isn't making a great impression. Still, there's something about the quirky girl with a messy backpack that sets Tatum's heart aflutter. But before they can finish designing a low-gravity cabinet, Maggie reveals that her dad wants to move to Houston.

Now, Maggie must choose: Does she follow her dad and her dreams of NASA? Or does she stay with her mom to be near Tatum? If the stars are meant to align between these two, they'll both have to fully realize their feelings for each other before Maggie leaves forever.

This charming companion novel features delightful cameos from the first book, The Trouble with Robots, and compassionately explores themes of divorce, neglect, and sibling rivalry alongside an age-appropriate budding romance. A great pick for celebrating STEAM, LGBTQ+, and autistic audiences!

The Problem with Gravity cover rgb.jpg

Cover art by Kris Mukai, design by Maria Fazio, and art direction by Lily Steele.

Kingdom of Pages

Join autistic Cleo MacGuffin in three early reader books from Collins Big Cat as they explore the impossible in their aunt's antique shop, solve problems, and go on adventures with their friends.

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