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Reading The Wild Robot?

Extend the learning with these books.

Books to read with The Wild Robot

Are you reading Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot with your students? This one is always a hit! Have you ever met a kid that didn’t like robots? There’s just something about them that captures our imaginations. There’s the creative aspect of building it exactly the way you want. I also think there’s something to the idea of building a friend or helper that you then get to order around!

I like to always have an assortment of complementary books to go along with whatever we are currently reading. They help students dive deeper on certain topics and make connections to others. I try to make sure there is something there for everyone, with a wide range of topics and several different lengths and formats to accommodate different interests and reading levels.

Students always love to investigate robots, but there are so many other topics that can also be tied in while you are reading the book. There are a lot of science topics that are touched upon, as well as friendship, adoption, and survival.

Below is a list of a few great books to add to your classroom or online bookshelves during a study of The Wild Robot. Some make great short read-alouds, while others are best suited for independent reading. These books are also perfect to have on hand as research resources for individual or group projects. (My complete novel study packet has a list of 13 different culminating projects from which students can choose!)

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I love adding a book or two of this format when we are talking about robots, especially if you are doing any kind of activity where the students will be creating their own robots. These books have so many different examples of what a robot can look like. It can really help to encourage students to think outside the box and stretch their imaginations to get creative! This National Geographic Kids: Everything Robotics book is a great one, but there are a few other options out there that you can always substitute if your library doesn’t carry this one. (990L)

Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots by Michael Rex is a read aloud winner because it makes for a fun way to sneak in a lesson or quick review on facts and opinions. It also underscores the importance of understanding that people can have a variety of opinions on different topics and that opinions should be shared, and heard, with openness and respect. (A concept that we could all stand to review from time to time!)


A survival guide (or two!) are a great addition to keep on hand for independent reading. Some of your students will be fascinated with the idea of making it on their own in the woods with just basic supplies and they will want to learn all that they can of the survival skills presented in these books. There are a lot of survival books out there, but here are a few of my favorites for grades 3-5.

Magic Treehouse Survival Guide
by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce


In The Wild Robot, Roz finds herself stranded on an unihabited island. As she explores more and more, she learns about the ecosystem of her new home. In The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth, students can learn about all of Earth’s ecosystems and and their intricate workings. (1140L)

This graphic novel series is awesome! It marries the artwork and superhero storylines of graphic novels with the factual knowledge of a nonfiction text. This is sure to catch the attention of a few of your more reluctant readers! (750L)


North American Animals: Canada Geese
by Megan Borgert-Spaniol

This is a basic, informative book on Canada geese, great for building background knowledge or a research project. (560L)

For a more in-depth read on geese, check out this book. It is long (68 pages), but the chapters are short. It is told as a story and will engage students quickly. I like to read some chapters aloud to the class, knowing that some students will want to read more on their own to find out more of Benony’s story. This book also covers migration, another topic on this list.


This book has lots of great pictures and a somewhat sparse text, which makes it perfect for upper elementary readers. It includes information about bear anatomy, diet, habitat, and more, as well as specific information on the different species of bears that exist.


A Bear Named Trouble
by Marion Dane Bauer

This fictional story was inspired by real events is filled with lots of great background information on bears. Keep this on hand as an independent read for your more advanced readers. (820L)

This classic story makes a great independent read for 3rd or 4th graders. The story has adventure and just the right amounts of mystery and suspense. (590L)


This is a field guide that doesn’t take itself too seriously! It is full of facts, but is also guaranteed to have kids laughing. They’ll be having so much fun with this one that they won’t want to put it down! (890L)
This book is filled with great nature photos of beavers in the wild and really focuses in on the important role that they play in their ecosystem, particularly in relation to the dams that they build.

by Deborah Hodge

This is another great book to have on hand for research. In this book students will learn some “strange but true” facts about beavers alongside other basics facts. The lifelike illustrations in this book are sure to inspire the artists in your class too. (640L)


North American River Otter
by Ellen Lawrence

Help your students learn more about the playful otter with this book. It has great pictures and is a bit more engaging that the standard informative book by asking readers to make observations and guesses. (630L)

This award-winning nonfiction book is not exactly an “otter book,” but the cute, furry creatures are the heroes in this story that helps to show the interconnectedness of nature and describes the work of one marine biologist as he studies a California estuary ecosystem. (1060L)

What If There Were No Sea Otters?
by Suzanne Buckingham Slade

This book is another one that focuses on the importance of a particular species in an ecosystem. What If There Were No Sea Otters? focuses on sea otters in an ocean ecosystem and the role they play in helping to keep everything in balance. Vibrant illustrations and a sparse text make it a quick and accessible read that makes a big educational impact. (820L)

Rescuing Rialto
by Lynda V. Mapes

This is a sweet story about the real-life rescue and rehabilitation of a baby sea otter found alone and in distress on a Washington beach.


In The Wild Robot, Roz spends some time trying to adapt to her new surroundings. She studies the plants and animals in her new environment to see the adaptations that have worked for them. This is a great opportunity to dive a bit deeper into adaptations. One idea is this extension activity from The Classroom Bookshelf for exploring adaptation and design principles. These books are great complements for a deeper look at adaptations.


Shell, Beak, Tusk
by Bridget Heos

This book has beautiful photos that show different animals that have utilized the same adaptation in ways that suit their own needs. It explains a complex topic, convergent evolution, in simple terms that make it easy for students to understand.

by Gale George

Poison, camouflage, enormous size, incredible speed. These are just a few of the animal adaptations discussed in Adaptation. This book is a great springboard for a group research project on animal adaptations. Each group can choose an animal featured in the book and prepare a presentation, backed with additional research, to share with the class.

by Monika Davies

Looking for experiments to go with a lesson on adaptations? Check out this book. It provides a more detailed look at the science of adaptations. The text is targeted toward grade 4 readers and is aligned to NGSS. (770L)

This is another Max Axiom graphic novel that is perfectly suited to readers of The Wild Robot. In this edition, Max tells readers why animals adapt, gives a historical perspective of how animals have adapted through the ages, and gives examples of both physical and behavioral adaptations. (770L)


Numenia and the Hurricane
by Fiona Halliday

This poetic read-aloud is an excellent book to compare and contrast with The Wild Robot. It tells the story of a migrating bird that is thrown off-course during a terrible storm. Separated from her family, the bird embarks on a quest to reunite with her family, traveling over unfamiliar territory and enduring many hardships. Based on a true story.

This book focuses on the migratory instinct of animals and gives a short description of several different migratory animals and the journeys that they take. (810L)

All of these great science topics that have ties to the book are one reason why The Wild Robot makes such a great reading selection for 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classrooms. An in-depth study of the book, supplemented with quality complementary books, can cover so many of your ELA and science standards in one unit.

This no prep novel study for The Wild Robot has everything that you will need for a standards-aligned study of the book. It includes a student work packet with comprehension questions, as well as vocabulary work, focused questions on figurative language, point of view, Latin prefixes, and synonyms & antonyms. There is a minilesson on imprinting, a character matching game, a dice game that makes for a fun way to do a comprehensive review at the end of the book, and so much more. There are also three different assessment options to allow you to assess in a way that works best for you and your students (a vocabulary matching quiz, section quizzes to assess as you read, a basic comprehensive quiz for an end of the book assessment, and a more rigorous final exam with Part A, Part B questions). The student packet and almost all assessments (vocabulary matching quiz excluded) are available as Google Drive files to make digital assignments a breeze. The assessments and student packet are available individually as well.

I hope you enjoy adding some of these books to your study of the The Wild Robot!

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