Peter Brown has created a sequel to his bestselling The Wild Robot which is absolutely terrific and brings the Wild Robot’s story to a well-earned conclusion while entrusting its young readers with very big ideas.
This is a story that envisions the future of our whole planet as seen by a robot whose life experience is a lot like our early human ancestors — but with fantastic artificial intelligence. However, Roz is eventually collected and returned to her factory of origin. Then she is sent to a small family dairy farm as the sole robot to run the farm, with the help of some amazing machinery. She befriends not only the cows but also the children, Jaya and Jed. Will she ever see her duck son again? Will she ever be able to return to the Island? How will she deal with predators when she is programmed not to use violence?
The Wild Robot Escapes is definitely meant to be read after reading the first book. If you haven’t yet read The Wild Robot and spent time wondering about all the questions it raises, do that first!
What I love most about Peter Brown’s two works is that he trusts young readers (this book could be read by 2nd graders) with the most sophisticated ideas coming out of adult science and speculative fiction. The two books together constitute a masterpiece of fiction and one that all ages should read and think about. We need every one of us to be engaged in our perilous journey on this small blue planet.