The Wild Robot by Peter Brown



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!



2 thoughts on “The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

  1. Hi there,

    I consider myself your biggest fan! LOL!

    I am lucky enough to be a reading specialist in Newton MA. I have invited the mayor to join us to kickoff the Public Library summer reading program.

    He would like me to select a book for him to read to students from 1-5.

    Yikes!!! What an opportunity!!

    Do you have a particular title you would recommend??? I hope so.

    Let me know.

    Thank you,

    Jeanne Conley

    • Hi Jeanne –

      Thanks for your kind words. That is awesome that you have the Mayor kicking off your reading program! You are right – picking the right book is important, especially since they are young children and it needs to be something short.
      A few ideas that work for me when I need to keep an audience of young children engaged: Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore, A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, Kitten’s First Full Moon by K. Henkes (if most of kids are VERY young), The Storm Whale by B. Davies (a quieter book, but great pictures), The Day the Crayons Quit. Another set of books that always work in a pinch – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and the others in the series. Sometimes they are perfect for a large group of young children. I hope one of these books will be a good selection for your group! Feel free to write anytime with questions – happy to help.

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