Thursday, May 26

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot
Peter Brown

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0316381994
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Date of publication: April 5, 2016
Age: Grades 3 - 6
Genre: Science Fiction

Themes: robots, animal life, friendship, survival, family, environment, islands

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is—but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home—until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

Wow. I'm impressed. Yes, its a fun story with cute illustrations and short chapters—all things that will make it popular with the intended audience. And yet, underneath all that, Brown still addresses some pretty deep topics and writes with the skill that readers of all ages will appreciate. With family makeup, environmental issues, dangerous human tendencies, and even robot ethics—yeah, it can get pretty heavy the more you think about it. I didn't particularly enjoy the heavy handed stuff, but that's just my personal preference.

I still really liked the overall story. It does take its time in some places (and may deter the action- seeking readers) but it's good for the emotional development.  Roz really develops quite wonderfully and really grew on me as a character. I also loved all the animals with their individual (varied and many) personalities (oh man Chitchat, so cute). And the ending was enough that, if there was a sequel (and it does leave the possibility) that I would definitely want to read it. But I'm still satisfied. Overall, I'm very happy with what this picture book author was able to do for his first chapter book. Definitely recommended.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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