A Crazy Case of Robots


64 pages
ISBN 0-439-98824-1
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Sam Sisco
Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a Canadian children’s librarian living in Powell,


Tina Quark amazes everyone at the science fair with her latest and
greatest invention, the Tinatron 1000 robot. Her parents, however, are
not so impressed and refuse to keep the robot in their house. Tina asks
her friend Giles Barnes to robot-sit, but knowing that Tina’s
inventions have a tendency to go wacky, Giles is reluctant. But his
parents are persuaded to let Tinatron stay. This time Tina’s invention
seems completely perfect, and Giles has to learn to live with this model
of perfection. Everyone except Giles and Tina’s brother Kevin, seems
to love it. Tina is so elated that she wants make a whole fleet of
robots and go into business. But just when it seems that humans have
been completely outdone, Tinatron overheats and has a meltdown. Tina is
reminded once again that everyone makes mistakes, and she comes to
realize just how important people are after all.

In typical Barnes and the Brains style, Giles’s quiet wisdom
outshines Tina’s scientific brilliance with happy consequences for all
concerned. Less typical of the stories in this series is how this
“case” develops; the problem is obvious from the beginning and the
plot unfolds without a deliberate solution being determined by the
characters. If readers miss the mystery they will still find plenty to
be delighted with in the far out action and quirky characters that make
this series so much fun to read. Recommended.


Oppel, Kenneth., “A Crazy Case of Robots,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/21833.