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The Last Human
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The Last Human
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Soon to be a major motion picture from the producers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! In a future when humans are believed to be extinct, what will one curious robot do when it finds a girl who...
Soon to be a major motion picture from the producers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! In a future when humans are believed to be extinct, what will one curious robot do when it finds a girl who...
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Description-

  • Soon to be a major motion picture from the producers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! In a future when humans are believed to be extinct, what will one curious robot do when it finds a girl who needs its help?

    Humans went extinct thirty years ago. Now the world is ruled by machines. And twelve-year-old robot XR_935 is just fine with that. Without humans around, there is no war, no pollution, no crime. Every member of society has a purpose. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Until the day XR discovers something impossible: a human girl named Emma. Now, Emma, XR, and two other robots must embark on a dangerous voyage in search of a mysterious point on a map. But how will they survive in a place where rules are never broken and humans aren't even supposed to exist? And what will they find at the end of their journey?
    Narrated in the first person (first robot?) by XR, The Last Human blends humor and action with moments of poignancy to tell a story about friendship, technology, and challenging the status quo no matter the consequences. It's not just about what it means to be a robot. It's about what it means to be a human.

About the Author-

  • Lee Bacon is the author of several books for young people, including the Joshua Dread and Legendtopia series, as well as the original audio story The Mystery of Alice. His books have been translated into twenty-three languages. Lee grew up in Texas and now lives in New Jersey.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2019
    A trio of robot workers sets out to help a girl they believe to be the last of humankind. Thirty years after robots put an end to humanity in order to save the planet, a girl appears at the narrator's worksite. XR_935 is purpose-built to install solar panels in a large array. XR_935's work companion, enormous, strong Ceeron, built to lift and carry, is a scholar of human jokes and colloquialisms. Smaller, zippy SkD connects wires and communicates via emoji pictographs. XR_935 itself is analytical, constantly running numbers, data, and measurements. Emma, a white-presenting human, explains that her family and others have been overcome by a flu epidemic in their hidden bunker. The lone survivor, she hopes to reach a point of help marked on a map. XR_935 grapples with the dilemma: It needs to violate the rules it knows in order to provide forbidden assistance to this Unknown LifeForm. Bacon deftly constructs an amiable but also moral and emotional self for XR_935 out of the data that the unlikely hero collects and considers. The result is an amusing and upbeat adventure, with glimpses of a fading human footprint on the planet and a suggestion that there's hope for a shared AI and human future. An off note is sounded, however, in XR_935's initial conjecture that Emma could be "a shaved gorilla" (to which Emma reacts, "not cool"), which unnecessarily deploys a phrase that some young readers will recognize as a racist one. After all, via data clips, XR_935 and its fellow robots have seen images of humans multiple times. Appealing speculative fiction with memorable robot personalities. (Science fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 26, 2019
    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.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2019

    Gr 3-7-In this future world, humans have been eliminated by robots, leaving a supposedly better society devoid of the evils caused by humans-wars, pollution, crime, and waste. The robots have been brainwashed by their leader, the Hive President, into believing that humans caused nothing but trouble, and the robots have no reason to doubt him. Besides, their programming would not allow them to. Robot XR_935 is 12 years old and has spent his whole "life" with his FamilyUnit-Parent_1 and Parent_2-fulfilling his purpose of installing solar panels for energy. His life is shattered by a paradox: he encounters a 12-year-old girl named Emma, which is impossible because humans are supposed to be extinct. From Emma, XR_935 and his robot "friends," SkD_988 (who communicates through emojis) and massively strong Ceeron_902, learn that there is a secret underground bunker of humans who weren't exterminated. However, the inhabitants of the bunker, including Emma's family, succumbed to a mysterious illness, leaving Emma alone in the world and desperate to reach a mysterious spot on a map her parents left her. Despite their programming, the robots decide to help Emma on her dangerous journey, facing killer HunterBots, drones, and the risk of not finding charging stations before it's too late. Along the way, an unlikely friendship is forged, with humor, misunderstandings (robots don't understand human jokes or expressions), and plenty of rule breaking. Bacon's story is full of twists and adventure, leaving readers guessing throughout. VERDICT With the ever-increasing presence of technology, readers may be torn between rooting for Emma or the robots. Recommended for fans of thrilling sci-fi with a strong ethical motif.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2019
    Grades 3-6 What if robots destroyed all humans?or at least thought they had? XR_935, a gen-9 robot, narrates this unusual sci-fi tale, beginning with his first day online. XR_935 entertainingly learns about his environment and the downfall of humans by examining data files and asking the two robots serving as his FamilyUnit questions, such as What's a nail salon? and Why did humans congregate to watch movies? Once up to speed, XR_935 spends the next 12 years diligently working alongside SkD (who communicates in emoticons) and Ceeron (who enjoys telling human jokes). They get the shock of their lives, therefore, when a 12-year-old human, Emma, shows up at the worksite. Emma enlists the robots' help in finding medicine to cure the sickness sweeping through the people in her bunker. Subtle humor surfaces when literal-minded robots try to understand human idioms, behavior, and emotions. And Bacon raises the story's stakes and action level as the group works against the clock and unexpected new threats. A tech-fueled friendship adventure ideal for fans of Peter Brown's Wild Robot series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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