So you read this sweet, family-friendly story by Peter Brown, and now you’re on the hunt for books like The Wild Robot? Welcome!
Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but as I said in the first post in this series, I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot, which is the first in a three-book series. This illustrated early middle grade book is perfect for even younger kids can enjoy. It’s about a robot that ends up on a remote island and has to find a way to survive.
Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have strong similarities with the beloved title. For this post, I’ve chosen eight great books about robots, animals, and survival. You’ll find that they have similar themes to our central book. If you or your kids loved this book, here are more books like The Wild Robot.
Ready? Let’s go.
8 Fantastic Books Like The Wild Robot
Here are seven great books like The Wild Robot by Peter Brown:
The Wild Robot Escapes
In this sequel to The Wild Robot, we follow Roz as she adapts to being back in civilized society after her time on a wild island. I find that sequels are rarely as good as (or better than) the first book, but this one holds up pretty well!
A Wolf Called Wander
This is another illustrated middle grade book (based on a true life story) about a wolf who tries to find his way home after being separated from his family during a rival pack attach. It’s touching, exciting, and full of adventure.
A Rover’s Story
I loved this story of a Mars rover (a robot sent to survey the planet, find another out-of-service rover, and help determine whether Mars is suited to human living. The story is told from several perspectives, including that of the rover (whose name is Res, short for Resilience) and Sophie, the daughter of one of the programmers who’s building the rover.
After months of testing and tinkering in the lab, Res discovers that he’s experiencing human emotions. His twin rover, Journey, repeatedly tells him that robots should be logical, not emotional, so Res tries unsuccessfully to restrain his emotions. Finally, Res is sent to Mars with a friendly drone he calls Fly. But can he accomplish his mission? Or will his emotions get in the way?
The One and Only Ivan
There are no robots in this story, but Ivan is a huge favorite for readers who enjoy stories of robot or human survival. This book is also inspired by a true story. It’s about a gorilla who lives in an enclosed glass cage in a mall.
At first, Ivan is content with his quarters — for over 20 years. But when a baby elephant is brought into the enclosure, Ivan starts to remember his home and see his current home as the captivity that it is. This is a sweet and moving verse novel for young readers.
Clementine is a genius mouse who’s lived in a lab where she undergoes lots of testing. But one day, a kind lab technician frees her. On the run, Clementine has to survive, all the while brainstorming ways to rescue her other friends from the lab. This is a super charming book on the longer side, perhaps better for older kids (9+)!
This story is just as cute as this book’s cover! Odder is a fearless otter who loves to play and tell stories to entertain everyone. But when she encounters a great white shark, she’s injured and has to be brought into the aquarium to heal. There are many beautiful illustrations in this book and it’s also inspired by a true story.
Maya and the Robot
Maya is entering the fifth grade. She’s disappointed when she’s placed in a different class than her two best friends, Jada and MJ. Quickly, it seems like they’re forming a new friend group and barely spending time with her, especially since they don’t even have the same lunch period. But things begin to look up when Maya finds a broken-down robot in the neighborhood store where she helps out.
After setting the robot up to work, Maya suddenly has a new best friend, but how long will this last? And what happens when the robot, Ralph, malfunctions? This is also illustrated and moving with a surprising sub-plot.
Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name is short for “cognitive development,” and he was built to learn.
But after an accident leaves him damaged, Cog wakes up in an unknown lab—and Gina, the scientist who created and cared for him, is nowhere to be found. Surrounded by scientists who want to study him and remove his brain, Cog recruits four robot accomplices for a mission to find her.
Cog, ADA, Proto, Trashbot, and Car’s journey will likely involve much cognitive development in the form of mistakes, but Cog is willing to risk everything to find his way back to Gina.
Your turn! Which books like The Wild Robot would you recommend and why? I’d love to hear from you. Also, I would love your help with this series.
Which middle-grade, chapter books, or picture books, or even YA books would you love readalikes for? Let me know!
- Books like The One and Only Ivan
- Great books for kids who like Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Books for fans of Ramona Quimby, Age 8