Children’s Books: Robot Riot by Andy Griffiths

Robot Riot (Scholastic) is the fourth book in Andy Griffith’s Schooling Around series featuring the students of Grade 5B at Northwest Southeast Central School. But like the others in this series, the book pretty much stands alone.

The stories are all over-the-top humorous and the characters mostly have names that suit their personalities. Gretel Armstrong, for example, is strong; Jenny Friendly is the nice one; Grant Gadget is the son of an inventor and invents plenty himself.

The stories are seen from the viewpoint of Henry McThrottle. In this latest adventure, Henry is convinced that logical, unemotional new girl Roberta Flywheel is a robot from the future, planning to wipe out the population of Earth, starting with the students of 5B.

As always, it’s delightfully silly and still makes good points about friendship. And wouldn’t we all like to have been in Mr Brainfright’s class, with a teacher who loves bananas enough to dress up as one and teaches that the world would be a better place if we would all just look at it through colored cellophane once a day?

Andy Griffiths is one of the most popular children’s writers in Australia, for good reason. He knows kids love to laugh and they love over-the-top laughs.

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