“But I am not safe here. If any human ever learns who I really am, they will have me destroyed. And that is why, when the time is right, I will try to escape.”
After living on a remote island and learning to speak the language of the animals, Roz the robot is facing a brand new challenge: being trapped on a farm. She’s been purchased by the Shareefs who are kind, but they are ultimately keeping her from the family she’d made on the island – including her adopted gosling son, Brightbill.
“I have asked myself that same question. I do not feel defective. I feel… different. Is being different the same as being defective?”
As she prepares an escape plan, Roz must camouflage her true, wild self to avoid being sent back to the factory where she was created. Wild robots are simply not allowed in society. Roz finds allies in the dairy cows and in the Shareef children, Jaya and Jad. It’s the power of her and Brightbill’s story, passed between flocks of migrating geese, that sets her escape on its course. Even when Roz manages to leave the farm without being detected, she must navigate terrain and situations that are dangerous and unlike anything she’s faced before. Luckily, she has Brightbill by her side.
“Frightened faces peered out from a window. But Roz didn’t want to frighten anyone! She just wanted to go home!”
Roz and Brightbill traverse farm country, mountains, and even a brief stint in the ocean on the back of a whale. The most challenging environment proves to be the civilized world. Roz has never been around so many humans – or other robots, for that matter. Her camouflage skills are put to test, and her drive for survival has never been higher… especially when RECOs come to take Roz back to the factory, where she will come face to face with her Designer and learn that her “defects” are the most beautiful thing about her.
Caldecott-winning author Peter Brown serves as both author and illustration of this adventure-filled romp. From fending off a pack of fierce wolves to surviving a tornado to a foot chase through a near-futuresque city, students are sure to cheer for each of Roz’s triumphs. At its heart, though, the mother-son relationship between Roz and Brightbill infuses the story with a warmth that’s perfect for families to read aloud together.