First off, this book has a whopping long, intense title. But don’t let the title discourage your young reader (or yourself) because the story itself is an easy and immensely enjoyable read.
This story follows Henry, a young robot who’s parents acquire a human to help them out around the house/at work. The human is about Henry’s age (13) and while Henry’s parents believe that the human is just “a machine” Henry knows that there is more to it than that. The reader pursues Henry as he faces the troubles that most young boys face- being teased at school, struggling with schoolwork, being unable to relate to parents, and meeting new friends.
This story is incredibly fascinating, even to someone who isn’t a young reader. The author takes the world we know, humans living their lives with robots as machines, and flips it upside down. In this story the robots are living their lives and the humans are the machines, manufactured in a factory to aid the robots with their daily lives. While that is interesting in itself, the author did such a fantastic job of creating the world in this story that this book is a gem to read. As I was reading I found myself thinking, “that is so clever” as I read a certain part of the story. When Henry is reading the owners manual for his human I found myself laughing out loud and realizing that the author truly put a lot of thought into this story.
The characters in this story are wonderful. While the majority of the characters are robots, they have human traits, making them easy to relate to and understand. I found Henry to be a lovable main character. He acted in a way that many 13 year old boys will be able to relate to and I found myself loving his emotions. It’s easy to get caught up in his excitement when he finds out that his family is getting a human or when he finds out that his father met his idol! Henry’s emotions and reactions felt real, making him a fantastic main character.
The writing in this story was strikingly enjoyable to read. The author places subtle humor throughout the entire story, in a way that even the adult reader will enjoy picking it out of the pages. The author also seems to have writing for a broad audience mastered. The young reader (ages 7-13, roughly) will enjoy reading this story, or having it read to them, yet this book is so masterful in its ideas and humor that the majority of adults would be able to enjoy and appreciate this book.
I’m extremely glad that I read this book; it was enjoyable and humorous in a way that I haven’t encountered in a long time. I will definitely be recommending this book to any young (or young at heart) people that I know, especially if they have an interest in robots or humor. 5 stars from me.
I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.