Cover image for Friendroid / M. M. Vaughan.
Title:
Friendroid / M. M. Vaughan.
ISBN:
9781481490658
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
376 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
Told through journal entries, twelve-year-old Danny and his best friend Slick recount how their friendship begins and when they discover Slick's true identity and ultimate fate.
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 8-12.
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Summary

Summary

Stranger Things meets robots in this sweet story about an unlikely friendship between two boys--one human, one android.

Eric Young is an android, but he doesn't know. He does know that he's just moved to Ashland, so it's important to make the right kind of friends--the kind that would be interested in skateboarding and the new Slick sneakers his Uncle Martin sends him.

Danny Lazio doesn't have any friends, but he doesn't care. Even if his classmates don't accept him, he still has Land X, the online role play game that he's actually really good at. But then Eric takes an interest in Land X, and suddenly Danny thinks he might have found a real friend...if he can figure out the mystery behind Eric's sudden disappearances and strange lifestyle.

It becomes harder to ignore the weird events that happen only around Eric. But uncovering the secret behind Eric's identity is an act that might cost them both as powerful forces soon move in around them.

This heartfelt story about friendship and what it means to be human is sure to tug at your soul--or your soul-chip if you're like Eric.


Author Notes

M.M. Vaughan (also known as Monica Meira) lives in the UK. She loves to write, to listen to Janis Joplin, and to embark on adventures of any kind. She is the author of The Ability , Mindscape , Six , and Me and My Friendroid .

Antonio Javier Caparo is a Cuban-born illustrator and designer. Although much of his early career was spent in graphic design, his passion for animation and comics led him to devote himself to illustration--both traditional and digital. He has been published around the world and has won numerous awards in multiple countries. He lives in Quebec, Canada.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Vaughan (Six) imparts sophisticated social commentary in this tale of friendship with a futuristic twist, told alternatively in the voice of 12-year-old Danny and in the journal entries of his friend Eric, nicknamed Slick. Danny immediately conveys that Slick is dead, having been murdered six months earlier, that Slick was an android, and that Danny is publishing his journals to lead to Slick's killers' capture. Slick mostly befriends popular kids when he moves to town, but he and Danny gradually bond over an online game, Land X, as well as Danny's work building a computer. Danny finds many aspects of Slick's life unsettlingly odd, from his perpetually smiling parents to his weekly dentist appointments and extreme sleep habits, but it still comes as a great surprise to both when they learn that Slick is a robot. The android's stilted dialogue adds to his convincing character portrayal, and his journal entries reveal obsessions with certain brands and Land X, both of which hint at the hidden agenda behind his creation. Along with expected messages about choosing friends wisely, Vaughan offers a critique of consumerism for middle-grade readers who are ready to fight the power. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Friendroid Slick: MONDAY, OCTOBER 8 Today was the day I found out that I had made my first real friend. I was 75 percent certain Harry was my friend before this morning, but it wasn't until I got an invitation to his birthday party that I knew for certain. When he gave me the invitation, he looked annoyed. At first I thought this might mean that he didn't really want me to come and that he'd been made to ask me because I was new, but then he apologized for the lame invite. He said his mother had made him give them out so that she could keep track of the numbers coming. That's when I understood that feeling angry can look a lot like feeling embarrassed. I don't know why it bothered him so much. I like the invitation--it has skateboards all around it. I love skateboarding. At the top it says Let's Sk8 to Celebrate, and then a list of all the information: date, time, and place. It was very clear, and I could see his mother's point: It must be hard to organize a party if you don't know how many people will be coming. I couldn't see Harry's problem with it. Harry is just one of my friends. I have twenty. One is 100 percent confirmed: Harry. See above. Two of these are 75 percent confirmed friends: Luke and Tyler. These are the people who invite me to sit at their table at lunch and pick me for their teams, and who I have seen outside of school. Three of these are 65 percent confirmed friends: Mateo, Jake, and Theo. These are the people who invite me to sit at their table at lunch and pick me for their teams. Fourteen are 50 percent confirmed friends. These are the people that I have had more than two conversations with (not schoolwork related) since I got here. I don't have a best friend. Maybe when I've been here longer, I'll have one, but I think a month is probably not long enough to choose a best friend yet. Notes: I now have 457 friends on Kudos. I had 320 when I arrived, but I don't remember any of them. It's weird how quickly you forget about your old life when it's gone. Of the 137 friends that I've made since we moved to Ashland, only eighteen are Real World Friends (RWFs). The rest are Virtual Friends (VFs), which are the same as Real World Friends, except you've only met them on the Internet. Most of my new VFs are friends of friends, so they will probably become RWFs at some point. Luke: 438,118 Kudos friends. Harry: 640 Kudos friends. Mateo: 509 Kudos friends. Tyler: 383 Kudos friends. Luke has the most Kudos friends because he is a singer and has his own video channel (LuckyLuke7). The last song he uploaded, "In Your Dreams," has 2,004,833 likes. Harry said that nobody says "rad" anymore. I will stop saying "rad." Two girls commented on my profile picture today. One said, "Cute!" The other wrote three heart emojis. I replied, "Thank you very much," as I haven't met either of them and didn't know what else to write. They don't go to my school. My profile picture is cool. That's what Harry said, and the others agreed. It's of me midair on my Baltic Wave skateboard, and I'm looking straight ahead at the sea. I put it up before we moved to Ashland. I don't remember who took it. Mom and Dad do not have Kudos accounts. This is because they are adults, so they only count their Real World Friends. Mom has thirty-nine RWFs. Five of these are 100 percent confirmed as they have invited her out to do something more than once. Dad has twelve RWFs, but none of these are 100 percent confirmed. Dad said that this is because men make friends in a different way from women and kids. Excerpted from Friendroid by M. M. Vaughan All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.