Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is the Homework Machine too Good to be True?

What kid hasn't wondered what life would be like with a homework machine? Well, fifth grade computer genius Brenton hasn’t had to worry about homework all year. When he mentions it to some of the kids in his class, they beg to see it, and he gives in. Judy, Snick, and Kelsey can’t believe how amazing the homework machine is; it even does their homework in their own handwriting. It's just too easy not to use it. So, four unlikely friends begin to hang out in order to get their homework done in record time. When they get together, the work is done so fast that they begin to get to know each other a little better. Interestingly, they realize that they each have more to them than meets the eye. What will happen if word about the homework machine gets out? Who is the strange man named Milton that keeps contacting them one by one? What caused all the kids in the fifth grade to wear red socks to school? Will the kids in the group become real friends? Read this book to find out how having more time on your hands might just change your life. 

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman is a book that kids will love and read quickly. Everyone wants their homework done faster, but is it really worth it in the end? It was a treat getting to know the different cast of characters in this book. Each chapter was a month of the school year and consisted of different interviews. I knew something had happened because of the people who were being interviewed and what they were saying, but I didn't know what the big event was until the end. Each character is a kid you know in real life. Some you might like, and some you might not like as much. But they're all real, and you can relate to them all in some way. I think this would be a great book for kids in third grade and up, because they will be dreaming of their own homework machine and will definitely be able to relate to the characters in the story. This is a terrific  book for anyone who's ever dreamed of a world in which they have a little more time for what they want to do, and there are surprises around every corner. I can't wait to read The Return of the Homework Machine, because I know how this book ends, so I have no idea how the next book is going to start!

Have you read The Homework Machine? Or have you read another book by Dan Gutman? We would love to hear your thoughts! Check out our author interview with Mr. Gutman.

Happy Reading! 
~L

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57 comments:

  1. This is such a cool concept. I love it!

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  2. This is a great question to propose to MGers! Sure, most would tell you they'd love a machine like that. But I bet they'd really think about it and we'd be surprised how many would rather pass. lol

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    1. SA- I bet the responses would be fascinating. I did a poll once with my class and gave no homework for a period of time, and then asked kids to fill out a survey. All but one wanted homework because they said they didn't feel prepared and were bored. :) ~Stephanie

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  3. Sounds like a great story. My daughter who drowns in high school homework would love it.

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    1. Natalie- I bet a lot of high school students would love a break! :) Even if it was only for some of their homework. ~L

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  4. I'm sure a lot of kids can empathize! Sounds like a great read, and kids might not even realize they're learning a lesson :)

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    1. Cate- The lesson definitely sneaks up on you! :) ~L

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  5. This sounds great! It's going on my TBR list!

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  6. Can you imagine what kids would give if such a machine existed. Sounds like a great read, every child's dream come true.

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    1. Bish- Enjoy! It is a fun read.

      Tracy- It would be great to hear what kids would give to have it. :) ~L

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  7. "Is it really worth it in the end?" Finishing faster, that is. I ask my son this daily about his homework. :-)

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    1. Barbara- Based on your response you should definitely read this one and it will give you and your son a lot to talk about! :) ~L

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  8. The perfect book for that age group!

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  9. Huh. Nope, never read anything by him, but I'm betting we'd love it.

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    1. Crystal- It is a great read! :) ~L

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  10. This sounds like a perfect book for middle grade kids. I will definitely check it out. I read Ted and Me last year and loved it, but never got around to any of his other books. Thanks for telling me about this book.

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    1. Rosi- I haven't read Ted and Me, but have read some of his other books. I will have to check that one out. Hope you get to read The Homework Machine. Enjoy! :) ~L

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  11. I would love a homework machine to write my books for me. lol Great idea.

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    1. M Pax- Wouldn't that be fun? :) ~L

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  12. I would have LOVED a homework machine. Now I would love a HOUSEWORK machine :)

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    1. Carol- Imagine a machine that could do both! :) ~L

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  13. I have some homework now--where do I find one of these machines?

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    1. TBM- I hope you can find one! :) ~L

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  14. I wonder if there is a machine that catalogues books. I would love one of those! I have to read this - it sounds fascinating.

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    1. Barbara- A machine to help you catalog would be so helpful for you. :) ~L

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  15. i love this! esp the intrigue of why they all wear red socks one day!
    i am going to recommend it for my 4th grader who always needs something to read and this sounds like a good one that he will like.
    thanks!

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    1. Tara- Wait until you find out what is behind the red sox. :) Your 4th grader will enjoy it- and the sequel. ~L

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  16. Sounds like a fun and entertaining book! Definitely something that kids would gravitate towards. It's funny because I taught the last two years at a private K-12 school that had a no-homework policy. Kids could read for homework and if they didn't finish something, they would have to do it for homework, but no assigned homework was allowed! The homework concept is definitely an interesting one! -Kate

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    1. Kate- It is fun and entertaining. I can imagine the kids at your school were less stressed without the homework. I would love to hear more about the policy and how it worked out. :) Thanks for sharing! :) ~L

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  17. Isn't that every kid's dream? Ha ha. This book sounds like a lot of fun. I wonder if our library has it. I think my daughter would like it.

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    1. Dena- It is! If your library has it- I hope your daughter enjoys it. :) ~L

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  18. Heehee! I love this idea. My younger self would definitely want her own homework machine. Sounds like a very fun read. :)

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    1. Sam- Wouldn't that have been fun? :) ~L

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  19. Definitely fulfilling youngsters dreams but the struggle and challenge makes the eventual success THAT much sweeter. Thanks for the share!

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    1. Gina- It was great to read about a dream come true! :) ~L

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  20. This looks like an awesome book! I especially love the cover - it made me want to read it right away.

    I'll definitely look into this book for my nephers.

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    1. Emily- I hope your nephews enjoy it! It is a read that grabs you and draws you in. ;) ~L

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  21. I read the title of your post and thought, "Wait, this sounds familiar ..." Of course it did. I'd dreamed of having a homework machine when I was a kid, too! I'm curious about the red socks, too. Hope I can find a copy of this for a kid I'm tutoring. A great review!

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    1. Claudine- I think we have all dreamed of a machine to do our homework at least a few times (maybe more). :) I hope you can find a copy for the kid you are tutoring. ~L

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  22. What an amazing story line. Kids would love to read about a homework machine, and it sounds like there's plenty of mystery too.

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    1. Medeia- There is a lot of mystery, relationship building, and of course- not a lot of homework. :) ~L

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  23. This sounds like a fun book. My son is a bit young for this book's target audience. Last night, we read a book about a monster who will do your homework if you are willing to pay the price - The Monster Who Did My Math. I will have to put Homework Machine on my list of books to read when my kiddo gets a little older.

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    1. Keitha- The Monster Who Did My Math sounds cute. I think your son will enjoy this one when he gets older and it may make him think twice about homework. :) ~L

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  24. Oh can he make me a house cleaning machine? This sounds like such a fun read, and I am sure there is a lesson in there..LOL

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    1. Kimba- You might be surprised by all that the homework machine can do. I think house cleaning could happen. :) ~L

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  25. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheryl, Hop Hostess

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    1. Cheryl- It is! Glad to be part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. :) ~L

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  26. What a great find - I would've loved this as an MGLit reader, but probably now, too! Stopping by via Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    1. BCuenin- It is a great read. I think it can be enjoyed by kids and adults. :) Thanks for visiting! ~L

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  27. I loved this book! I think I read it in Primary school, as I vaguely remember the cover. Thanks for featuring it.

    -Eddie

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    1. Eddie- Awesome to hear you read this one and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :) ~L

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  28. I would have never used it. I was that kind of student - loved homework and lots of it.

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    1. Donna- That must have been how you got to be so smart. :) The author thinks kids should do homework too- he writes a great message about it. :) ~L

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