cover image The Last Human

The Last Human

Lee Bacon, illus. by Karl Kwasny. Amulet, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3691-9

After global warming and constant war established humans as corrupt, robots wiped them out, replacing them with a machine society linked across a hive. Robot XR_935, who narrates, installs solar panels, never questioning its purpose until the day that a 12-year-old human girl, Emma, appears in its solar field. Emma shouldn’t exist, but she does, and XR and its two robotic coworkers, despite the paradox, can’t bring themselves to destroy her. Instead, they disable tracking and accompany her on a journey set by her dying parents. Along the way, they face danger, risk being lost to battery depletion, and are eventually branded traitors to robot society. But the robots’ experiences of human kindness, empathy, and collaboration lead them to reconsider their views on humankind’s potential. In this enjoyable sci-fi adventure, the stakes are believable and high, and the robots’ interactions are humorous, sometimes mixed up for comedic effect. Against a timely backdrop, Bacon (the Joshua Dread series) explores messages of friendship, tolerance, and cooperation with wit and thoughtfulness. Ages 8–12. [em](Oct.) [/em]