Updated: May 13, 2019
BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
We are so excited to host a giveaway for a copy of Runaway Robot, the new book written by popular author Frank Cottrell-Boyce and illustrated by Steven Lenton. Read on for more details...
Book Title: Runaway Robot (available here)
Author: Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Illustrator: Steven Lenton
Publication Date: May 2019
Most Suitable For: Upper kS2
Reviewed by: Angela Kent (@FljsLibrary), Librarian
I was really looking forward to reading this book and I can honestly say I was not disappointed. Frank Cottrell-Boyce takes us to a world not dissimilar to our own, but in a time where robots have replaced people for simple everyday tasks. This is a tale of humour, humanity and two friends trying to get to the truth.
Alfie is struggling to remember, and come to terms with, the accident that caused him to lose his hand. Since the accident Alfie has been attending the Limb Lab, to learn to control his new state-of-the-art hand.
Unlike his peers at the Limb Lab, this is proving too difficult for Alfie. In a world of driverless buses, it is easy for Alfie to escape when everything gets too much. He sneaks off to the airport (just to watch people coming and going on their journeys), but when he is caught and questioned by the café lady, Alfie detaches his hand to slip her grip.
Realising that losing his hand would be difficult to explain, he visits lost property to search for it, but he finds something else instead – a 6’6” one-legged, humanoid robot called Eric. This is where the friendship and chaos begin. Eric was designed to be helpful but unfortunately takes commands literally and disaster does seem to follow him around, making him a loveable and hilarious character. Will Eric complete his mission and will Alfie remember what really happened to his hand?
The character development is brilliant, especially all the very different children at Limb Lab. I was completely invested in their individual stories, as well as the emerging friendships as they help Alfie to repair Eric. The plot twists compelled me to continue reading, as I needed answers. Frank’s futuristic world feels very realistic, and not too distant, with the driverless buses and the pizza delivery robots.
Steven Lenton’s fantastic illustrations add to the appeal and realism of this story, especially his drawings of Eric which are very similar to the images I found of the real robotic Eric, dating back to 1928. After hearing some of the facts within the story and the additional information at the end of the book, I became completely fascinated by the real Eric and decided to look further into his history. Eric was since recreated by the Science Museum in 2016 and I can see this intriguing story being particularly enjoyed by schools studying inventors and inventions in KS2.
Thanks to the publishers at Macmillan, we have a copy of Runaway Robot to give away to one of our followers!
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of the book and providing the giveaway prize.