The school for whatnots

by Haddix, Margaret Peterson,

Format: Kindle Book 2022 2022
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From master of suspense author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes another page-turning stand-alone adventure perfect for fans of Cog and Bad Magic. No matter what anyone tells you, I{u2019}m real. That{u2019}s what the note says that Max finds under his keyboard. He knows that his best friend, Josie, wrote it. He{u2019}d know her handwriting anywhere. But why she wrote it{u2014}and what it means{u2014}remains a mystery. Ever since they met in kindergarten, Max and Josie have been inseparable. Until the summer after fifth grade, when Josie disappears, leaving only a note, and whispering something about whatnot rules. But why would Max ever think that Josie wasn{u2019}t real? And what are whatnots? As Max sets to uncover what happened to Josie{u2014}and what she is or isn{u2019}t{u2014}little does he know that she{u2019}s fighting to find him again, too. But there are forces trying to keep Max and Josie from ever seeing each other again. Because Josie wasn{u2019}t supposed to be real. This middle grade thriller from Margaret Peterson Haddix delves into the power of privilege, the importance of true friendship, and the question of humanity and identity. Because when anyone could be a whatnot, what makes a person a real friend{u2014}or real at all?
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Max and Josie are best friends from vastly different worlds. Max, born to billionaires, obliviously attends an exclusive school with a fleet of students known as Whatnots, modern androids capable of flawless human imitation, thus sparing him from interacting with cruel or greedy children interested only in his wealth. Josie is secretly the only other human child in Max's class, allowed to attend the superior school with the promise of an excellent education if she can keep up the robotic ruse. Max is devastated when Josie seemingly disappears after fifth grade, but she leaves behind a perplexing note: "No matter what anyone tells you, I'm real." A bewildered Max sets out to uncover the truth and find his way back to his best friend, but the stakes are higher than he could possibly imagine. The incredibly intriguing premise is happily matched by compelling text, treating readers to some truly terrific twists and a touch of fairy tale. Fast-paced chapters are punctuated by humorous "narrator's asides," though it quickly becomes clear that the narrator isn't quite as omniscient as it originally appears. This engaging introduction to socioeconomic disparity in education, health care, and transportation delves even deeper into the complexity of friendship and the impossibility of perfection. A thought-provoking and thrilling exploration of what it means to be human."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Born into different circumstances on the same night, two middle schoolers encounter their respective upbringings' mysteries in Haddix's (the Greystone Secrets series) class-conscious thriller. Though Maximilian J. Sterling's billionaire parents celebrate his birth with a lavish fireworks display, they soon fear that Max "will never know the difference between the beauty of his own soul and the appeal of all his money," and determine to raise him alongside androids provided by the Whatnot Corporation. After Josie's mother dies at an overwhelmed charity hospital just after childbirth, meanwhile, the girl's bereft father takes a deal offered by a veiled woman: in exchange for greater educational opportunities than he can afford, Josie will live alone at a whatnot school, "pretending to be a robot pretending to be a child." Eleven years later, having been fast friends with Max since kindergarten, Josie makes a comment about "whatnot rules" and leaves a handwritten note for Max: "No matter what anyone tells you, I'm real." Though the book's look at structural socioeconomic privilege largely skips over considerations of intersectional bias, and frequent narrative asides interrupt the action's flow, strong interpersonal relationships and twisty plotting will draw readers into this quick-moving buddy novel that focuses on connection and generations' opportunities to unlearn their programming. The protagonists read as white; secondary cast members read as Black. Ages 8--12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Friendship Juvenile fiction
Social classes Juvenile fiction
Robots Juvenile fiction
Juvenile Literature
Juvenile Fiction
Electronic books.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :HarperCollins,2022
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Audience Children/juvenile.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780062838513
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