The Wild Robotby Peter Brown
Can a robot survive in the wilderness?
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 isbut she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for/i>/b>
Can a robot survive in the wilderness?
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 isbut 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 homeuntil, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.
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: the main character is a robot. A hurricane deposits Roz (short for ROZZUM unit 7134) on the island, where she is accidentally activated by a group of sea otters, who are terrified by the shiny monster awakening before their eyes. At first, Roz struggles to survive in an environment where she is treated as a frightening intruder, but after she adopts an abandoned gosling, she slowly becomes part of the island community, learning animal language and taking on motherhood and a leadership role. Brown (Mr. Tiger Goes Wild) convincingly builds a growing sense of cooperation among the animals and Roz as she blossoms in the wild. The allegory of otherness is clear but never heavy-handed, and Roz has just enough human attributes to make her sympathetic while retaining her robot characteristics. 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. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Apr.)
An Amazon Best Book of the Year Top Pick"
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 companionsand readerswith 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
Gr 3–5—The crate containing ROZZUM unit 7134 wasn't meant to be shipwrecked on an island. Roz is baffled by the wildness of the environment, but her robot brain is programmed to learn and master tasks. She camouflages herself as clumps of seaweed, meadow flowers, and fallen logs to quietly observe and learn from the flora and fauna. Scared of the unknown, the animals initially think she's a monster and run in terror. But Roz rescues a goose egg and reaches out to the animal community for help. Roz and the animals fall into a happy routine, but that bliss is broken by environmental and technological threats to the island. Set in the not-so-distant future, this thoughtful story unfolds slowly, matching Roz's pace as she observes and integrates into island life. The environmental and technological dangers introduced halfway through are impactful; they threaten the tightly knit community so carefully cultivated by Roz and the animals. The character development focuses on Roz and her adopted son, Brightbill. The supporting characters, while less fleshed out, are compelling. Short chapters and read-aloud-worthy third-person narration pair beautifully with Brown's grayscale illustrations. Grounded in striking, eye-catching compositions, his artwork combines geometric shapes and organic forms and textures, providing context and building atmosphere. The open ending leaves readers bereft for Roz and her beloved island, though it is sure to spark discussions about environmental impact and responsibility. VERDICT This strong debut middle grade novel by the acclaimed picture book author/illustrator is a first purchase for most middle grade collections.—Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library
A sophisticated robot—with the capacity to use senses of sight, hearing, and smell—is washed to shore on an island, the only robot survivor of a cargo of 500. When otters play with her protective packaging, the robot is accidently activated. Roz, though without emotions, is intelligent and versatile. She can observe and learn in service of both her survival and her principle function: to help. Brown links these basic functions to the kind of evolution Roz undergoes as she figures out how to stay dry and intact in her wild environment—not easy, with pine cones and poop dropping from above, stormy weather, and a family of cranky bears. She learns to understand and eventually speak the language of the wild creatures (each species with its different "accent"). An accident leaves her the sole protector of a baby goose, and Roz must ask other creatures for help to shelter and feed the gosling. Roz's growing connection with her environment is sweetly funny, reminiscent of Randall Jarrell's The Animal Family. At every moment Roz's actions seem plausible and logical yet surprisingly full of something like feeling. Robot hunters with guns figure into the climax of the story as the outside world intrudes. While the end to Roz's benign and wild life is startling and violent, Brown leaves Roz and her companions—and readers—with hope. Thought-provoking and charming. (Science fiction/fantasy. 7-11)
Meet the Author
Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including My Teacher Is a Monster (No, I am not.), Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Children Make Terrible Pets and The Curious Garden. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Book Award for Illustrator of the Year.
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