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The Wild Robot Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Though Roz, a robot, is initially viewed with suspicion when she finds herself on an isolated island, she soon becomes part of the natural order, parenting an orphaned gosling and providing shelter for the animals. But is there really a place for her within this ecosystem? Interspersed with charming black-and-white illustrations, this sweetly quirky fish-out-of-water tale will have readers contemplating questions about life, death, consciousness, and artificial intelligence.
Praise for The Wild Robot:
"Brown has written a lively tale that is sure to engage young readers."―The New York Times
"Roz may not feel emotions, but young readers certainly will as this tender, captivating tale unfolds."―The Washington Post
* "[Peter] Brown's picture books are consistent bestsellers and critically acclaimed. Expect readers to go wild for his robot-themed novel."―Booklist, starred review
* "While the end to Roz's benign and wildlife is startling and violent, Brown leaves Roz and her companions--and readers--with hope. Thought-provoking and charming."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "This strong debut middle grade novel by the acclaimed picture book author/illustrator is a first purchase for most middle grade collections."―School Library Journal, starred review
* "Brown's middle-grade debut, an uplifting story about an unexpected visitor whose arrival disrupts the animal inhabitants of a rocky island, has a contemporary twist...Brown wisely eschews a happy ending in favor of an open-ended one that supports the tone of a story that's simultaneously unsentimental and saturated with feeling."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Roz is not easy to forget."―The Horn Book
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Top customer reviews
In general, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It definitely feels like an extended children's illustrated storybook, and that's not a bad thing. However, it might take a bit for some folks to really get into the groove of the novel--as, for a kids book, the real "story" takes a bit to truly get moving.
Along those lines, this is definitely for younger readers. But some parents / guardians / those-reading-the-book-aloud-to-someone might be caught off guard by the surprising violence near the book's end. For such a fun and cute story--even with some small moments of natural darkness--the climactic chapters seemed a bit much and out of place for such a story.
Still, it has solid writing and a fun story, and the artwork is truly gorgeous. Brown's work is fantastic, and I'm glad to see that his long-form storytelling is almost as solid as his short form. It might not have been the norm for him, but I'll be there to read his next middle-grade novel, too.
Pros: Charlotte’s Web meets The Iron Giant in this debut novel from illustrator Peter Brown. The story is touching without being sappy or emotional, and thought-provoking without being preachy. Brown’s own illustrations are generously inserted throughout the text. If I were on the Newbery committee, this would be going to the top of my list.
Cons: The ending is a little dark. Until the last few chapters, I thought this would be a perfect read-aloud for grades 2 and up. Now I would say grade 3 or even 4 would be the youngest. Read it first if you’re not sure.
This book is so, so moving, and it's an incredibly fast read with 80ish, short chapters. I downloaded it on my Kindle and literally read it while I did chores around the house.
The concept of this book...a machine (a robot) infiltrating the wilderness...spells trouble. But what happened was poetry.
Roz and her story help teach the reader about respecting others, loving despite differences and fierce loyalty in times of crisis.
I don't want to give away too much, but this quote was a favorite..."Brightbill had been Roz’s son from the moment she picked up his egg. She had saved him from certain death, and then he had saved her. He was the reason Roz had lived so well for so long."
The animals and Roz become one community and are there for each other in every way...and it's beautiful. I'm hopeful for a second book.
The stylistic and modern illustrations make this a very visual book and add to its appeal; the cover is simply a work of art and I only wish the interior drawings were printed with the same vibrancy and were just as colorful.
Roz, our main character and the titular wild robot, reminds me of Wilbur from Charlotte's Web and his learning experiences with the other animals of the farm and his friendship with the gosling who bonded with him. Featuring occasional spurts of second-person narration, directly addressing the reader, only add to its charm.
Not without its humor. When accepting contributions mentioned in order to properly grow a garden, Roz says …
"I am not capable of defecting," she explained, "so your droppings are most appreciated!"
As sweet and charming as this is, the pattern in which Roz learns survival skills (which are actually the animals’ instincts) is set up pretty early on in the story. Having read many, many easy-to-read books with both my children, the pattern repetition gave this fully fledged novel a rather preschool feel for me. But, once Roz has to learn how to be a mother in order to take care of an orphan gosling, the story really opens up nicely from there. However, some of that pre-school feel of a story book was still there for me, and made this novel very easy to skim-read, or perhaps just speed-read, it's hard to say.
Regardless, this is a charming, Middle Grade Sci-Fi book that is sure to excite the target-age readers.
Most recent customer reviews
I love this book so so much. It's my favorite book. In fact, I'm in the middle of reading it for the second time. I love it so much.Read more