From Gordon Korman, the bestselling author of Restart and The Unteachables, comes a hilarious new story about a mysterious new teacher who turns out to be an AI robot from a secret experimental program.
Oliver Zahn, spitball champion and self-declared rule-wrecker of Brightling Middle School, is not a fan of his new homeroom teacher, Mr. Aidact. The guy is sort of stiff, never cracks a smile, and refers to them as "pupils." The worst part is he catches Oliver before he can pull any of his signature pranks! It's time for Oliver and his best friend, Nathan, to show the new teacher who's boss.
But as the weeks go by, they start to realize that Mr. Aidact is not what they expected. He has an uncanny ability to remember song lyrics or trivia. When the girls' field hockey team needs a new coach, he suddenly turns out to be an expert. He never complains when other teachers unload work on him--even when it's lunchroom duty and overseeing detention. Against all odds, Mr. Aidact starts to become the most popular teacher at Brightling.
Still, Oliver and Nathan know that something is fishy. They're determined to get to the bottom of the mystery: What's the deal with Mr. Aidact?
Gr 4-6--Oliver, self-proclaimed "number one rule-wrecker," spitballs new teacher Mr. Aidact on the first day of seventh grade. But when Aidact catches the projectile between his thumb and forefinger, it's clear this rookie is no ordinary teacher. Aidact's popularity quickly grows to hero status: teachers dump unwanted assignments on him, and students are enthralled by his vast knowledge and enthusiasm. What is the secret of Aidact's success? Why does he never eat or drink, and why is his student teacher much older than he is? Korman plants clues readers will notice quickly, so only Oliver and the students are shocked when Aidact is revealed to be a robot and his student teacher is a Department of Education engineer assigned to monitor this experimental project. The reveal creates an uproar, compelling the entire school to consider what makes a teacher great--and what it means to be truly human. The controversy also gives Korman opportunity to comment on government, artificial intelligence, and the limitless potential of students. This novel has Korman's trademark humor, fast pace, alternating points of view, and raucous climax. All convey his message with masterful ease: the best teachers don't allow themselves to become robotic. They know that students respond to teachers who are willing to show they're a little bit like them--or to teachers who simply like them. VERDICT Through his understanding of what makes middle schoolers tick, Korman writes the books kids love to read and teachers ought to read.--Marybeth KozikowskiCopyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
When new teacher Mr. Aidact arrives at Brightling Middle School, the students aren't initially sure what to make of him. He can catch spitballs in midair and recite the lyrics to any song, coaches the field hockey team to victory, and makes detention fun. While he quickly becomes the school's most popular teacher, dedicated rule-breaker Oliver Zahn and his partner-in-crime Nathan Popova, both seventh graders, suspect that Mr. Aidact is hiding something. They soon discover that he's actually a robot created by the United States Department of Education, who was secretly assigned to Brightling for training and research development. But when Mr. Aidact's future is jeopardized, it's up to his students to save the day. Primarily told via three alternating student perspectives, Korman (The Fort) delivers an astute exploration of the student-teacher dynamic and a pensive examination of a robot's potential to experience human emotion. While a majority of the narrative is spent laying the groundwork for Mr. Aidact's flourishing relationships within the school community, Korman also lends ample space to the supporting cast and their myriad interpersonal trials and triumphs, making for a keenly rendered, fast-paced read. Characters present as white. Ages 8-12. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Jan.)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.