Kurtis Scaletta's Site

Info about me and my books

Jim is tired of being the sidekick to his scientific-genius, robot-obsessed best friend, Oliver. So this winter, when it comes time to choose partners for the science fair, Jim dumps Oliver and teams up with a girl instead.


“Rocky” has spotted wild otters down by the river, and her idea is to study them. But what they discover is bigger—and much more menacing—than fuzzy otters: a hidden junkyard on abandoned Half Street. The place gives Jim the creeps. There are sudden crunches of metal, pieces of trash shifting in the icy wind, and the deserted ruins of a scientific corporation that burned down years ago. But as desolate as it may seem, there’s something living in the junkyard. Something that won’t be contained for long by the rusty fences and mounds of snow. Can Jim and Rocky—along with Oliver and his new science-fair partner—put aside their rivalry and unite their robot-building skills? Whatever is lurking on Half Street is about to meet its match.

  • “This is a ripping yarn with a big heart and a lot of wit and invention.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 8, 2013
  • STARRED REVIEW – Told in a spare, matter-of-fact narrative, this [book] packs the space between the lines with humor, drama, romantic tension, and deftly delivered insight into the characters of a diverse, well-developed cast. Booklist, December 1, 2013
  • Scaletta plays to middle-grade gearheads, delivering the expected epic junkyard battle between marauding monsters and savvy kids, but he crafts a solid mystery, involving the death of a local eccentric and some high end auto theft, that will also lure in the less technically inclined. – The Bulletin, December 2013
  • “A deft mix of middle school drama and edgy techno thrills.” – Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2013.
  • “[The Winter of the Robots] will surely inspire tinkerers and dreamers to build similar robots in their garages ” – Aaron Starmer, author of The Only Ones and The Riverman.
  • “The fighting robots are obviously cool, but it’s actually the heartfelt and authentic friendships that will really make you love this book. ” – Chris Rylander, author of The Fourth Stall series.
%d bloggers like this: