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The Golden Compass meets the digital age! When a coding star enters an elite technology academy, she discovers a world of competition, intrigue, and family secrets—plus a robotic companion that isn't what it seems.
Lacey Chu is a girl who codes. She has always dreamed of working as an engineer for MONCHA, the biggest tech firm in the world and the company behind the "baku"—a customizable "pet" with all the capabilities of a smartphone. But when Lacey is rejected by the elite academy that promises that future, she's crushed.
One night, Lacey comes across the broken form of a highly advanced baku. After she repairs it, the cat-shaped baku she calls Jinx opens its eyes and somehow gets her into her dream school. But Jinx is different than any other baku she's ever seen…He seems real.
As Lacey settles into life at school, competing with the best students in a battle of the bakus that tests her abilities, she learns that Jinx is part of a dangerous secret. Can Lacey hold on to Jinx and her dreams for the future?
Jinxed is the perfect…
middle grade book for girls who are passionate about coding
summer reading chapter book for kids 9-12
science fiction book for kids 9-12
engineer academy book
robot book for kids
"With a sharp eye toward the rising awareness of device addiction and a keen sense of wonder, McCulloch's tale is a feast for the imagination that celebrates women in STEM fields."—Publisher's Weekly, STARRED review
"I raced through this book…a little bit Golden Compass and all adventure."—Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Amy McCulloch was born in the UK, raised in Canada, and currently lives in London. She is the author of the Jinxed duology as well as The Oathbreaker's Shadow duology and The Potion Diaries series. She loves traveling the world, researching extraordinary settings and intriguing stories for future books. Find her online at amymcculloch.net
"I raced through this book, and I want the sequel now, please — and my own baku too! If you love fun, clever and thought-provoking near-future sci-fi, it’s time you teamed up with Lacey and Jinx for a journey that’s a little bit Golden Compass, a little bit Hunger Games, and all adventure." — Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author
"The most compelling read of the year." — Evening Standard
"A solid series starter for tinkerers and adventurers alike." — Kirkus Reviews
"McCulloch’s riveting tale will speak to children interested in STEM as well as any reader interested in intelligent, rapidly paced sf mysteries." — Booklist
"[A] vividly imagined Toronto-set middle grade series opener intertwines smartphone technology with the hallmarks of classic science fiction via a fun, insightful narrative and bright voice...With a sharp eye toward the rising awareness of device addiction and a keen sense of wonder, McCulloch’s tale is a feast for the imagination that celebrates women in STEM fields." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
"An enjoyable read with just enough genuine friendship and suspense to draw readers in." — School Library Journal
"This is a swift moving story that takes the time needed to develop its characters and relationships to the point where readers will genuinely care about the outcome...Recommended." — School Library Connection
"With plenty of appeal for any aspiring inventor or STEM enthusiast, this sci-fi adventure offers a novel approach to the robot-with-a-soul story that unfolds speedily alongside other genre tropes, like underground tinkers and corporate conspiracies...Readers will cling to the edge of their seats." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books