cover image A Boy and His Bot

A Boy and His Bot

Daniel H. Wilson, Bloomsbury, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59990-280-7

Wilson brings the expertise of his adult titles How to Survive a Robot Uprising and How to Build a Robot Army (and a Ph.D. in robotics) to his first middle-grade novel, a campy down-the-robot-hole adventure. Shy sixth-grader Code Lightfall is not a boy of action, but on a field trip, he falls down a hole in Mek Mound, an ancient Oklahoman pyramid where his grandfather disappeared a year earlier. Code finds himself lost in Mekhos, a metallic land of robots ("Mekhos makes no sense!" he complains. "You robots are impossible. Everything is either too small to see or too big to figure out"). When Code discovers that his grandfather is being controlled by the evil Immortalis, who is holding captive the sacred Robonomicon, he teams up with friends Peep, a robot bug, and Gary, a crazed "atomic slaughterbot," and travels through treacherous territory to the Celestial City to prevent the destruction of the robot and human worlds. With a goofy sense of humor and plenty of action, Wilson presents a coming-of-age journey with shades of Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)