When Max - Maxine Zealster - befriends her new robot classmate, Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School's new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school - the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving sixth grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!
Alistair Jones is an ex-Pinkerton agent roaming the West in search of work. Amy Dunston is an angry widow searching for answers. Who knows what those men with matching mustaches and bowler hats are searching for? But Alistair and Amy would both like to know why there are so many of them, why they all look alike, and why they're impervious to bullets--at least until they meet the business end of Alistair's .52-caliber 1874-pattern Sharps rifle.