Parents' Guide to

The Wild Robot

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Robot vs. wilderness in poignant survival tale.

The Wild Robot Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 25 parent reviews

age 12+

Why gun violence?

I was excited to read this as a read aloud to my third grade students. I heard about it on the Global Read Aloud page, so I thought I'd give it a try. I always preread books before reading them to my class, and I am glad I did. I was all in with the story of this wondeful robot trying to learn how to survive in the wilderness. I was excited to see how the relationships between the robot Roz and the animals changed and developed. Then I got sucker punched! I cannot understand why the author would add in gun violence, when the robot and the animals had been doing such a wonderful job of solving problems. Really saddened me, and caused me to decide against this book as a read aloud to my class.
age 6+

Great storytelling with some violence

We were over halfway through _The Wild Robot_ when I thought to check the reviews here. The book was so good that I’m kind of glad I waited to read the reviews because I might not have chosen to read it to my 6 yo if I had known about the violence. About 2/3 into the book, a rifle is introduced, and the climax consists of fighting between the armed robots and the animals. As I intimated, I normally wouldn’t read a book with these topics in them, but I feel that the positive messages outweigh the violence and that the violence is appropriate to the story. I think as long as you have a conversation with your child about the dangers of guns and the sadness and futility of violence, then this story is acceptable for K+ audiences when read with an adult. The vocabulary is approachable and the story is so well written. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (25 ):
Kids say (20 ):

"Shipwrecked robot" is the clever twist in this wilderness-survival tale that delivers fun information about animal behavior along with lessons about friendship and a heart-tugging emotional punch. When Roz the robot has to learn to survive on an island, she observes the animals who live there and mimics their behavior. For the most part, the animals are characterized naturally, not anthropomorphized. But Brown takes some liberties -- for instance, the animals observe a "Dawn Truce" so they can meet each day as a community without threat of predators stalking prey. Roz encounters numerous obstacles -- the physical terrain, violent storms, the initial hostility of the animals, the loss of a foot, a very harsh winter -- but she's resourceful and overcomes all with grace. And because she's described as female, she can serve as a plucky role model.

The pace of the story is sometimes quiet and meditative, but the chapters are short and punchy, and Brown employs direct address -- "Now, reader, what I haven't mentioned is … " -- that draws kids in and lends the book a classic feel. The lesson that kindness and community trump fear and competition shines through.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate