How To Survive Middle School And Monster Bots by Ron Bates ~ Juvenile Fiction Review

Howard Boward, Book 2
Ron Bates
Juvenile Fiction (ages 8-12)


It’s been a rough semester for Howard Boward, science genius. Not only is he having to dodge winter’s most feared weapon (snowballs), his close friend, Winnie McKinney, is barely speaking to him. If that weren’t enough, he’s the favorite target of some bullies who seem determined to make life at Dolley Madison Middle School as miserable as possible. But then Howard learns about an upcoming robot-building contest—finally a chance to show off his science skills and beat archrival Gerald “G-Force” Forster! Unfortunately, the only way to win is by using his secret “monster goo,” a formula that has terrifying side effects. Can Howard resist the temptation? Or will he unleash a robot rampage that could destroy the town—and ruin the school dance?

My Thoughts

Howard Boward is back and his nerdy geeky self has run into some problems. He's become the target of bullies at Dolley Madison Middle School. You'd think that would make him sympathetic to others with his same plight. But you'd be wrong! Howard not only has a nerd problem he has an ego problem as well. 

When Howard discovers that there is a science club that he is not included in he sets out to become a member. One of the projects of the club is a robot building contest. He's sure that he can instantly build the best robot of all the members. When things don't turn out like he expects he's forced to resort to the "monster goo" that he invented, but when crazy things start to happen he's up a creek without a paddle!

This book is a great fit for middle-grade boys. They are sure to find it humorous with the crazy antics of Howard and the other middle school boys. It captures that middle school age group perfectly without resorting to crude remarks and behaviors. Howard is portrayed as far from perfect, in fact he is somewhat egotistical, but by the end of the story he learns some very valuable life lessons. This is a great book for some in depth discussions on what is acceptable behavior in trying situations. I'd recommend it to anyone with a middle grade boy in their life. By the way, I think girls would like it too but it really is written towards a male audience.

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