Tin by Pádraig Kenny. Chicken House, 2019. ISBN 9781338277555
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Steampunk/science fiction
What did you like about the book? I became immediately immersed in this well-constructed world of “proper” humans and the mechanical children constructed to serve them. A motley crew of children, mechanical and human, flee from Master Absalom, who calls himself the “greatest engineer in Britain”, but who is really a two-bit shyster. Christopher, Jack, Round Rob, Mande, Gripper and Estelle are a wonderful group of friends who care about one another, whether human or not. All have a poignant sense of other-ness, unsure of their origins and purpose. Technically, they don’t have souls, because that would be illegal, but they all have so much heart. Christopher is taken away and the friends have to brave ruthless adults to find him. There are some great fight scenes between the friends and the robotic baddies constructed by the crazed adults. I love Kenny’s writing style – it’s literary but accessible and has a great vocabulary, with words such as “alacrity” and “verisimilitude” that make it a rich reading experience.
Anything you didn’t like about it? At first I was disappointed that there is really only one female character, but decided that a story of friendship between boys is a good thing.
To whom would you recommend this book? I would offer this to those who liked Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot and to any reader, ages 9-13 who likes science fiction.
Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Children’s fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date: January 28, 2019