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Author: Brown, Peter
Roz the robot discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island with no memory of where she is from or why she is there, and her only hope of survival is to try to learn about her new environment from the island's hostile inhabitants.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 180673
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 68377
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/16)
School Library Journal (00/01/16)
Booklist (+) (12/15/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/16)
The Hornbook (00/05/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2015 *Starred Review* In the wake of a hurricane, a crate washes up on an island’s shore, where some curious otters tug it open, accidentally pressing a button as they do so. A shiny, new robot—ROZZUM unit 7134—whirs to life. What follows is not a flash-bang robot adventure but a WALL-E-esque tale of wilderness survival and friendship. Roz is clearly not built for life in the wild, but she uses her ability to learn from her surroundings to adapt. By observing the island’s animals (who initially think she is a monster), she learns to camouflage herself and eventually speak their language. When she adopts an orphaned gosling, the island’s animals finally warm to her. Although there is much about the story that charms, Brown doesn’t gloss over the harsher aspects of life in the wild—animals hunt each other and die of exposure—but a logic-driven robot provides the perfect way to objectively observe nature’s order. One day a ship arrives, shattering the island’s peace and activating Roz’s survival instincts—and with good reason. Brown’s first attempt at writing for an older audience is a success, and though this Caldecott honoree’s final artwork was not seen, his illustrations should certainly enhance the story. Readers will take a shine to Roz, and an open ending leaves room for more robot adventures.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Brown’s picture books are consistent best-sellers and critically acclaimed. Expect readers to go wild for his robot-themed novel. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 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 - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Roz has no idea how lucky she is: she is the only robot out of 500 to wash onto an island shore intact after a ship sinks, and then she is accidentally activated by otters playing around her. After some trial and error, Roz determines how to survive on the island, and she eventually finds a purpose when her literal misstep means a baby goose is left without a family. Roz settles into her role as a helper not only of the gosling but also the other (talking) wild animals when a severe winter leaves them all unprepared. In return, she also learns to accept help and to realize the limitations of self-sufficiency. The gentle pathos, as Roz moves through existing to living to loving to sacrificing her freedom (eventually folks come looking for their valuable robot) to protect those with whom she has bonded, is compelling and poignant. The scenes of goose and robot finding their way to an unbreakable bond are sentimental but never treacly, and the moments of Roz completely failing to interpret a situation correctly (she is a robot on an uninhabited island, after all, and learning animal languages is not part of her core programming) add levity. The illustrations from Caldecott honoree Brown are deceptively simple and highly effective, highlighting emotional or dramatic moments within the text: a scene where Roz is a tiny figure perched atop an enormous mountain speaks to her complete isolation as well as words could. This is an unusual book that should be a hit with fans of robots, talking animals, or survival stories. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 Gr 3–7—Though Roz, a robot, is initially viewed with suspicion when she finds herself on an isolated island, she soon becomes part of the natural order, parenting an orphaned gosling and providing shelter for the animals. But is there really a place for her within this ecosystem? Interspersed with charming black-and-white illustrations, this sweetly quirky fish-out-of-water tale will have readers contemplating questions about life, death, consciousness, and artificial intelligence. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.