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Eager by Helen Fox


by Helen Fox

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This book takes place in a technologically advanced future society. In this book Gavin and his family need a new personal house robot. They are given one to test by their friend Professor Odgen, which they name Eager. This robot is different from any of the others because he is a learning robot and can feel emotions. The other new robots that many of the "technobrats" have begin revolting and kidnapping people. In the end, Eager saves the day and Professor Ogden is put in charge of LifeCorps, the main robotics company.
This book is a good example of a science fiction book because the whole society relies on robots. This aspect is science fiction because it takes the idea of robots doing jobs humans normally do, which is realistic to some degree now, and expands it to the extent of robots that are conscious and can think like humans. This type of society is the extreme expansion of the robotic possibilities the realm science is developing.
Age Appropriateness: late Intermediate
  khofer15 | Apr 1, 2017 |
"Eager" is a futuristic science fiction story in which humans are living and working with robots. The story features the life of the Bell family, who have recently acquired a new EGR3 robot, "Eager," who was designed to learn and develop as human children do. Eager was to assist the aging butler robot, "Grumps," with taking care of the home and the Bell family.

The plot suggests that the field of robotics have come a long way in the last 15-20 years - from robots that can do simple domestic chores, to homes that will have conversations and even gossip, and robots that possess artificial intelligence. The newest robots, the BDC4's, have recently been launched into market at a few major cities, and were designed to be extremely high tech and with frighteningly human qualities - emotions, memories, and being able to carry conversations.

Society at first glance seems to have progressed immensely, with children having companion robots escorting them to their learning centers, pollution being virtually eliminated, locally grown food, having access to what's called a "gobetween," a technology that allows simulations in virtually any environment and communicate live with anyone in any part of the world. But as the story develops the reader learns that stark inequalities similar to generations past persist - the simpler robots who run on battery and the advanced ones that run on radio waves; the division of socioeconomic classes among the elite technocrats, middle-class professionals, and lower classes in the cities; and those who have or do not have access to all the technology.

The reader will find that Eager is a captivating protagonist as he struggles with issues of what it means to be alive, to live a human experience. The Bell family is equally engaging as they face their own challenges about what it means to have fulfilling relationships - whether if it's with humans or robots. The book is perfect for ages 9-12, and provides a valuable lesson about the possibilities of robotics, and the ethical issues behind developing artificial life. ( )
  elainevbernal | Nov 19, 2011 |
In Fox's futuristic world, starvation and homelessness don't exist but the boundary between the haves and have-nots is vast. The best jobs and latest technological inventions go only to the economically elite technocrats and government leaders. Curfews are enforced because marauders often attack these wealthier citizens. LifeCorp, a huge conglomerate, controls much of the new technology. Even though Gavin Bell's parents are only middle-class professionals, they, like most people, have a family robot. Unfortunately, Grumps is an older model that's beginning to malfunction. They can't afford a BDC4, a sleek new robot that is almost unnaturally clever, so they take on Eager, an experimental model secretly produced by a former LifeCorp scientist. Although his older sister is embarrassed by Eager's unattractive appearance, Gavin is intrigued by the robot, which can learn, reason, and even lie. Before long, the siblings notice that there is something strange and frightening about the BDC4s. The machines begin rebelling against their owners, and when they take the head of LifeCorp hostage, it's up to Eager to save him. There is a lot of warmth and humor in this engaging, Jetsons-like novel (complete with talking houses and appliances). ( )
  MissBoyer3 | Sep 4, 2011 |
This book is about a family called the Bell family and they have all these robots and even the house is a robot. But after in the story a scientist make a robot called EGR3 or Eager. Eager is living in the Bell family because the dad was with the scientist. The Bell families task was to teach Eager to life experience. Eager is the first robot that can learn and has opinions. ( )
  danifuz | May 2, 2011 |
Eager is an experimental robot that the Bell family takes on to replace their old robot butler. Eager is able to learn and reason, and by living with a family that teaches him the value of life, Eager is able to save the head of LifeCorp from the BDC4s who have begun rebelling against their owners.

This story was a good quick read for me. The action kept a good pace, and the characters were all relatable.

curriculum connection - Explain the concept of artificial intelligence. Do we have any machines now that can learn and reason?
  bcowie | Dec 9, 2010 |
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Can some one give me the last sentence of EAGER? Thanks :D
added by dorsom | editEAGER, NEED HELP!!
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If you must know, I'm not unhappy, I'm cross. My best friend prefers her robot to me and I miss having someone to talk to, even if that someone is spoilt and selfish half the time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553487957, Paperback)

It's the end of the 21st century where technocrats rule and robots take care of humans’ every need. Your house watches you, knows your secrets, and talks to you. And your closest friend can be—a machine?

Gavin Bell and his teenage sister Fleur come from a middle-class family. Their much-loved, old-fashioned robot, Grumps, is running down and can’t be repaired, so a scientist friend loans them EGR3, an experimental new robot to help Grumps. EGR3, known as Eager, learns from his experiences, as a child would. He feels emotions—wonder, excitement, and loss. When the ultra high-tech, eerily human BDC4 robots begin to behave suspiciously, Eager and the Bells are drawn into a great adventure that is sometimes dark and often humorous. As Eager’s extraordinary abilities are tested to the limit, he will try to find the answer to this question: What does it mean to be alive?

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Unlike Grumps, their old-fashioned robot, the Bell family's new robot, Eager, is programmed to not merely obey but to question, reason, and exercise free will.

» see all 2 descriptions

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