The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Wild RobotThe Wild Robot EscapesTechnology makes life easier in today’s society all over the world. Full-sized robots are capable of completing a multitude of tasks for humans. One particular technological company is sending hundreds of their robots, each packed in their own individual crate across to the ocean to their begin their new productive lives.

However, the ship encounters a hurricane sinking the ship to the bottom of the ocean. Only five crates containing robots did not sink. Quickly, one crashed into the rocks, shattering the robot inside, leaving only four. Three more robots quickly hit the rocks, breaking into pieces. Leaving just one, who somehow missed the rocks, cracked the crate, but left the last robot unscathed.
A group of sea otters played with the broken crate accidentally turning on a button on the back of the head. Breaking out of the crate, the robot became stronger every second it spent in the sunlight. How can a robot survive on an island that seems to be without humans? Can robots exist completely on their own without mankind guiding them?

Fortunately for readers, Roz finds herself alone with the native animals on this island? Can a robot develop feelings?

The Wild Robot, the first book reveals themes of loneliness and the value of friends. The unique abilities of each individual, even though not human, demonstrates that friendship can exist even without commonalities.

For Roz, she discovers her own individualism while learning to make friends and to value these friendships.

What does it feel like to be alone? What if you were a robot who discovers she has feelings? What if you are fulfilling your dreams, but not those you were intended to fulfill.

With The Wild Robot Escapes, the story continues a few years after the first book concludes. In this book, Roz finds she needs, but also feels an emptiness while missing her adopted son, Brightbill. Amazingly, this longing can occur even in a robot.

Both of these novels are aimed at young adult readers, but adults would also enjoy the adventures and even the emotions of Roz.

Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of these two books and many authors. His illustrations add to the story by reinforcing the images for the readers. He has won a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots, and his other books My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.), Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Children Make Terrible Pets, and The Curious Garden. This is a writer who truly enjoys his characters.

For a feel good book for middle school students, teens, and adults, read The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes.