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Runaway Robot

Narrated by: Ben Bailey Smith
Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Alfie is off school after an accident in which he lost both his hand and his confidence. He's lonely all day on his own. So when he comes across Eric, a one-legged robot in need of a friend, he brings him home with him. 

But a ban on humanoid robots has just been passed, which means Alfie is breaking the law by sheltering Eric. 

Can he keep his new friend safe - and himself out of trouble?

A funny and heartwarming adventure about two best friends helping put themselves back together, from the award-winning Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

©2019 Frank Cottrell Boyce (P)2019 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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Profile Image for K. J. Noyes
  • K. J. Noyes
  • 07-12-19

Normalising artificial limbs...

Normalising artificial limbs, an entertaining 'robot' story.

A very enjoyable Audible listen, my eight-year-old is still talking about it, weeks later. Wonderful to have heroes with artificial limbs as funny and real characters.

Alfie escapes school one day, ending up at the airport and the Lost Property department. Himself a recipient of an artificial arm, he ends up discovering a hidden robot on the shelves, also missing a leg. A rather eccentric robot called Eric. Who doesn't know why he's there. A cross between Kryten (Red Dwarf - pompous and forever quoting roles) and Buzz Lightyear (he thinks he's new and state-of-the-art), Eric and Alfie end up helping each other, as these stories often go.

With lots of funny scenes about a strong but oblivious robot causing mayhem, and a rather grand way about him that made us laugh, we really liked Eric. His stilted voice came over as very funny in the audiobook. And Alfie, with his detailed description of his missing arm, how he copes, his time with other similar children, made an appealing protagonist.

The history of robotics contained inside the story was also rather fascinating and my son had never even considered this side of a robot before, how old the technology might be. And to be honest, I learned something too.

As ever from Cottrell Boyce, well-developed characters and an engaging storyline. Suitable for ages 8-12. We would recommend the audio version, a very easy listen with a narrator talented and children's and robots' voices.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.