Tinker by award-winning author Jill Williamson and her eighth-grade son Luke Williamson is a great tale for middle-grade reluctant readers. It’s sci fi, or actually space opera.
Young Tinker is an orphan, taken in by his evil uncle and uncle’s two sons who keep him working in a repair shop. Tinker doggedly fixes space junk using his special talents, and he’s found a malfunctioning robot dog out in the desert. Most of all he’d like to go to the academy, where his inventor talents can be honed. But right now he’s not even allowed to go to school. He has to mind the store.
If I tell you Tinker is really a fairy tale, you can figure out where it’s going from here. It’s a page-turner, put together with skill. It promotes honesty and perseverance. A good book for your middle grader, especially boys!
Best of all, it’s #1 in a series. There are two more.