by Van Eekhout, Greg; Blue, Beatrice (ILT)

Activated in an unfamiliar lab after being damaged in an accident, a highly advanced robot recruits four robot accomplices to help him find the missing scientist who created and cared for him. By the author of Voyage of the Dogs. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Cog-short for "cognitive development"-is an android resembling a 12-year-old boy, built to learn about the world around him. He likes to do word problems and experience new things. Unfortunately, his relationship with his creators comes to an abrupt end once he learns that they want to take out his brain. Escaping the lab with his robot family and friends, Cog sets off in search of friendly scientist Gina, who has mysteriously disappeared, and as their crazy escapades unfold, they learn about pain, friendship, and more importantly-just like all sentient human children-how to process the world and their feelings about it. Cog is a gem of a robot, genuinely uninterested in world domination or serving a higher purpose. He enjoys learning and appreciating the journey along the way, and his robotic observations are comedic gold as he vocalizes experiences from car crashes to overeating. Readers will be charmed by this sf tale of free choice, hot dogs, and fun word problems. Grades 3-7. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Pinocchio and Wall-E meet Escape From Witch Mountain in this heartwarming sci-fi novel. Cog (short for cognitive development) is a 7-month-old android who looks 12 and is eager to learn more about the world. Designed by Gina, a scientist for uniMIND with whom he lives, Cog spends his days slowly learning all about what it means to be human, from grocery shopping to learning wisdom through making mistakes. After an accident results in Cog's being taken from Gina and locked in the main uniMIND headquarters, he becomes painfully aware of the sinister side of the organization. Refusing to spend any more time as an experiment, Cog escapes along with ADA, his sister android, and several others and attempts to find Gina. In his latest novel, van Eekhout (Voyage of the Dogs, 2018, etc.) brings considerable heart and wisdom to this coming-of-age tale. The central relationships between Cog and Gina and between him and his sister—all of whom are brown-skinned—feel heartbreakingly human and provide a timely example of the difficulties of being an outsider. The a uthor nicely inverts gender roles, making Cog introspective and shy while his sister—a weapon android—is brasher and braver; watching the pair grow together as they explore humanity provides pathos and humor. A thought-provoking tale for younger readers about hubris and what it means to be human. (Science fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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