Attack of the Smart Speakers

Attack of the Smart Speakers
Tom McLaughlin
Oxford University Press

Here’s another hoot of a story from Tom McLaughlin. It tells what happens when a new and crazy fad hits the town of Happyville in the form of smart speakers.

Seemingly everybody has one or is about to acquire same, for it appears as though these Nova devices – virtual assistants – are mega helpful. But are they?

It isn’t long before Tyler and her pals are starting to become just a tad suspicious. Are they the only ones concerned about who, or indeed what, is really doing the controlling. I wonder what the terms and conditions accompanying these things actually say – has anyone read them? That I doubt.

A big surprise awaits the children when they arrive at school. Their headteacher announces that he’s signed up to a new sponsorship deal with – guess what – Nova – and he at least is super-excited about it. Uh-huh!

When the ‘things’ start acquiring appendages we wonder how much worse things can get. Robot spiders intent on a take-over not just of the town but humanity itself? No thank you.
Come on geek guys Ashley, Dylan and Tyler – it’s up to you.

Following a communal dance session –Nova controlled,

a foresty foray, and a possible unlikely alliance, plans are finally afoot but …

Absolutely full of gigglesome moments, with plenty of zany pictures as well as the spidery speakers that provide visual chapter headings,

this book with its unexpected twist, will enthral junior audiences, especially those with a techy bent, whether its read alone or shared as a class read aloud.

(If you’ve not tried Tom’s earlier story set in Happyville, then you should try Happyville High: Geek Tragedy that also features Tyler et al.)

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