This week I did not have time or get my own copy of The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman. I did however read it a few years ago and can recall some details from it.
What would life be like if you had a computer to do your homework? Well for some fifth graders they are about to find out. They are members of the ‘D’ Squad sitting in groups of four, their last names all ended in D. They are Brenton Damagathi, the geek and maybe super genius, Sam Dawkins aka Snikwad the class clown, Kelsey Donnelly is a slacker doing just enough to get by and Judy Douglas is the teacher’s pet and almost straight ‘A’ student. Their teacher in the fifth grade was Miss Rasmussen, first year out of teaching college and a little green. It all starts when Brenton boasts he does not need to do homework because he has a machine that will do it for him. That evening the D Squad heads to his house and soon the homework is all being done by the computer which has been christened Belch; but as these four children soon realize, trying to keep a secret starts taking more work, time, effort and stress than if they did not have a secret and just went back to doing their own homework. But hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes.
The story is told in a series of first person narratives, being recorded for the most part while at the police station giving their testimony of what has gone on over the past school year. Written from the perspective of the D Squad, their teachers, parents and some of their classmates, it makes for a wonderfully funny story with more than a little message for the readers to absorb. Dan Gutman has written over 100 books; of the few that I have read this is the best! A great story and bound to be enjoyed by readers of all ages
Here’s what i can remember from the book:
The whole book is told by all the children and their parents. OPne of the hildren, the one who vuilt the machine did not want to share the machine. He told no one about it but he was forced to in the end.