Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of some wonderful picture books, but The Wild Robot is his first novel. It’s the charming and thought-provoking story of a robot who is stranded on an island inhabited only by animals when the cargo ship carrying her and hundreds of other units is wrecked in a storm. ROZZUM unit 7134 (Roz) is the only “survivor”.
Roz has no idea how she came to live on the island, as she has no memory of anything before she is activated by some curious otters. But she is programmed to do whatever it takes keep herself in working order. And that means adapting to her surroundings—fast!
The otters are not the only wild animals curious about Roz—but they are also frightened of her. After all, she is big, and shiny, and different. So at first they keep their distance. But Roz observes the animals, and quickly learns the unique ways each species is suited to the environment. In this way, Roz learns how to survive in the wilderness herself. When she rescues an egg and begins to raise the gosling as her own, the other animals slowly realize that Roz is not a monster after all. Roz is happy (well, as happy as a robot without feelings can be!) to live out her days on the island—but what will happen when a salvage ship comes looking for the lost robot cargo?
This book is perfect for readers age 8-12, or as a read aloud for even younger children. The chapters are short, the story well-written, and the book features some lovely, simple black and white illustrations. If you enjoy adventure stories, animal stories, or robot stories, you will enjoy this book.
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