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A Very Short Book Review on "The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown



The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is the perfect novel for a class read aloud! It’s whimsical, full of heart, honest, and has just the right amount of peril.    


This was Brown’s first children’s novel, a best seller for good reason! Brown’s writing style is simple and accessible, allowing young children to make textual connections and predictions. I also love those few moments when the narrator addresses the reader. The story, characters, and quirky illustrations will have your students enthralled from start to finish. 


Rozzum unit 7134 (a robot), or Roz for short, mistakenly ends up on an island full of creatures and animals. Not only are her surroundings completely new to her, but she also has to figure out who she is, and where she belongs on an island teeming with life. 



Recommended Age Group?


The most common age recommendation for The Wild Robot is 7-10. While 7-year-olds would still very much enjoy the novel, I would increase the age to 8-12 as the ideal audience - especially if using it as a class read-aloud/novel study.

 

Family and friendship are key themes in Brown’s novel. Roz, who has a computer for a brain, learns what it means to be a friend, and to be part of a family. She’s not sure how she’s able to learn these things, but she’s thankful for the new knowledge. Roz also struggles with identity. She can’t help but wonder why she is on the

island, and what purpose she is supposed to serve. However, once she begins to understand the concepts of friendship and family, her purpose becomes clear: love, protect, and serve. 


Violence and death have a place in this novel as well. Like many of Brown’s descriptions, they are perfectly detailed - not too in-depth, but just descriptive enough for the reader to understand what is happening. The animals can be violent towards each other, but Roz quickly learns that this is natural. There are other robots in this novel as well, and without giving too much away, violence ensues. These fellow robots come with weapons and intent to harm. There is also one scene in the novel where a human with a gun comes face-to-face with a goose, but again, nothing is overly descriptive for the targeted age group.



Classroom Approved?


This novel is most definitely classroom approved, best suited for grades 3-5.


The Wild Robot is an easy, fun read, that is sure to stay with your students for a very long time. There are also sequels, which continue Roz’s epic journey. I’m sure there will be many students who want to know what happens next! 


When deciding which novel and novel study to teach, The Wild Robot would be one of my highest considerations. While reading through the chapters, my brain was spinning at how many extension activities could be added to this unit - learning more about robots, and how far technology has come in regards to robotic advancements, exploring Brown’s illustrations and attempting to mimic his artistic style, digging into animal habitats and biomes, etc. Needless to say, your students will have a blast with this novel!






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