The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Peter Brown’s foray into middle-grade literature, The Wild Robot is a heartwarming story about a robot stranded on an island only populated by animals. Our heroine, the robot Roz, must learn how to survive on the island and how to coexist with the variety of animals who already inhabit the island. Roz is programmed to learn and adapt to her surroundings and eventually she learns how to communicate with the animals. After disguising herself as a bush, a boulder, or flower patch, and eventually earns their trust. Roz also has to learn how to be a parent after an unfortunate accident. The novel traces this growth and how Roz and the animals are able to work together and overcome challenges that none of them could have completed alone. This story touches on collaboration, compassion, creativity, and some of the deepest, and best, parts of human (and animal) nature. Brown’s novel illustrates the impact that fiction can have by asking big questions and showing the power of friendship and love.

Much like the teamwork between Roz and the animals, Peter Brown’s illustrations throughout the text help carry the story and provide a visual relief for younger readers who are just beginning to tackle longer novels. The pictures also add emotion, resonance, and humor to the text and together they work to create a novel that is greater than the sum of its parts. A story about adventure, survival, family, and compassion, The Wild Robot is a must read for children ages 9 – 12.