Boot is a robot, a toy robot that once belonged to a sweet little girl called Beth. When Boot finds himself abandoned in a scrapyard and heading towards the shredder, he has no idea how he went from beloved toy to scrap metal. With only a couple of glitchy memories left to go on, Boot must quickly save himself from an untimely end and return home, but how can he do this when everything in his head is scrambled?
Boot soon realises that the shredder is not the only danger that lies on the return path home. Flint, a human who manages the junkyard and is terrified of being replaced by robots, will go to great lengths to destroy any within reach – no robot has escaped him up until now, but Boot is different.
In this futuristic world, humans and robots live alongside one another – there are robots everywhere, even robot pets. Boot soon starts to realise however, that he’s quite different to most of the other robots that he meets – they don’t seem to feel anything and Boot has more human traits than he should have. Why is Boot different?
Then Boot meets Noke who also has feelings and he introduces Boot to a host of other robot misfits including Red, who becomes a firm friend. These advanced robots feel rather than just function and have managed to survive in secret.
But just when Boot seems to be getting somewhere on his quest to return home, the dreaded Flint continues to turn up. And with Noke’s battery running low and Red needing to stop to prevent over-heating, the odds are against them. Will Boot and his new friends ever be able to find Beth and Boot’s home?
Filled with lots of great illustrations by illustrator Ben Mantle, Boot: Small Robot, Big Adventure is engaging, accessible, quirky and a lot of fun. The fast-action-packed pace will keep youngsters (age 8+) riveted and tempt even the most reluctant readers. Author Shane Hegarty writes with flair and heart – obviously, the father of four knows exactly how to keep kids entertained.
Boot: Small Robot, Big Adventure is a fab futuristic read with themes of community, loyalty, acceptance and inclusion send great, positive messages. But it’s the fate of Boot, a fabulously likeable character compared to Wall-e and Toy Story, that will keep littlies glued and cheering.
Shane Hegarty was a journalist and editor of the Irish Times, and before that worked in radio and the music business. Now a full-time writer, he is the author of the bestselling middle-grade series, Darkmouth – which is currently being developed into a big screen animation by Oscar-nominated director Douglas Sweetland and Moana Head of Story, Dave Pimentel. Darkmouth was nominated for the Waterstones Prize. Boot is his first series for younger readers. He lives near Dublin with his wife and a brutally honest young readers focus group – otherwise known as his four children.