A Book for Kids About Fitting In

This is about the time when book folks start talking about which titles will pop up around awards season.  I have a feeling that the book I am profiling today will be included in those talks.

I have to confess that the idea of a robot stranded on a deserted island didn’t quite make my “must read” list, but I was curious enough to finally pick it up and I am so glad that I did.  It really captivated me.  I am always impressed when a book that initially held no appeal for me ends up being a can’t put down read.  That takes some real skill.  Well done Peter Brown!

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Title: The Wild Robot
Author: Peter Brown
Target: Grades 3-6
Series: No
What this book is about: 
Roz, a robot, is being transported across the ocean when her container ship sinks and she is jettied onto a deserted island.  She is the only robot that isn’t destroyed in the crash and some curious otters flip her switch to the “On” position by accident.  Suddenly Roz awakens to the only world she has ever know.  As she discovers her surroundings and learns what it means to survive she must make friends with the inhospitable animals who think she is a monster.  However, when new robots descend upon the island to bring Roz back to the factory where she was produced, it is the animals she has finally befriended who fight to keep her there.
Why I love this book:
  • I was absolutely captivated by this story.  Animals adhere to a routine to survive and the robot must adapt her routine to survive as well.  By understanding how and why the animals successfully exist, Roz is able to make friends and live a full life.  But beyond robots and furry creatures, this is a story about fitting in and finding your purpose in the world.
  • I loved the short chapters and the illustrations scattered throughout the story.  This book was easy to read and visually enjoyable, which only enhanced the whole experience.  The ending is a bit ambiguous in terms of being happy or sad so I will call it hopeful.  I think kids will appreciate an ending that feels true.
  • I have loved Peter Brown’s picture books so I was very anxious to try his foray into middle grade fiction.  A brilliant debut.
Who this book is for: 
The type is large and the chapters are short making this a wonderful book for kids on the younger side or reluctant readers.  I will say that the big action sequence doesn’t take place until the very end, so kids have to be willing to invest in an emotional and clever story before they get a satisfying battle on which to end the narrative.
Kids who enjoyed The Iron Giant would also like this book and this book would make a wonderful read aloud.
My daughter has been reluctant to pick this one up despite the fact that the story is right up her alley.  I think the first few chapters and the cover art appeal more to boys in general.
Final thoughts:
I know we will see this one again come awards season!
To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Wild Robot.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.