As I compile Inly’s summer reading list and get ready to talk with kids about their selections, I’ve been immersed in middle grade fiction. Much of it I’ve loved, especially Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor. But during dinner with a librarian friend last week, I told her about a few books that I expected to love more than I did. Then she asked if I had read Peter Brown’s first middle grade novel, The Wild Robot. It was in my bag – the next book on my “to read” list. Read it, she urged. I did. And, as always, she was right.
Since then, I’ve purchased a signed copy at a local bookstore and plan to encourage as many kids and adults as I know to add it to their summer reading list. To me, it reads as a parable about technology and nature. But Brown’s novel also presents thoughts about adaptation and family and community.
Roz is the only robot to survive after a cargo ship sinks. She floats to shore and, powered by solar energy and programmed to serve others, Roz finds herself on an island populated only by animals. After watching how the animals survive in their environment, Roz learns their language and how to contribute to her new community. She also adopts an abandoned gosling which leads to some of the books most moving passages.
I was already a fan of Brown’s picture books, especially Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. His new book about a robot who “goes wild” will stay with me – literally and figuratively.
The picture above was taken in the library last week. It was not set-up.
The book they are looking at: Mudball by Matt Tavares. It’s baseball season!