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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Five robots. One unforgettable journey. Their programming will never be the same.

Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name is short for “cognitive development,” and he was built to learn.

But after an accident leaves him damaged, Cog wakes up in an unknown lab—and Gina, the scientist who created and cared for him, is nowhere to be found. Surrounded by
ebook, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  221 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply put - I loved it just as much as I loved "Voyage of the Dogs." Cog is a 7 month old, 12 year old android whose sole purpose is to learn. When he is abducted by uniMind which wants to harvest his X-module, Cog plots an escape to find Gina, his caretaker. Aided by his sister. ADA, Proto, Trashbot, and Car, he sets off across country to find Gina. This reminded me a lot of "The Wild Robot" with a hero who was both more human and humane than the real humans. It was a good way to spend a snow ...more
Sam (she_who_reads_)
A super fast paced story, full of fun, action, and adventure. I’m sure middle grade readers will have a blast with this one!
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Cybils 2019 finalist for middle grade speculative fiction
Tamara Evans
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is engaging, fast paced story about a robot and his mission to return to his human guardian. Cog Isa seven month old robot designed to look like a twelve year old boy. He lives with uniMind engineer Gina and spends his days learning new things.

Cog’s sole mission is learning new things and sharing the things he learns with others. As Cog is increasing his list of life experiences one day, when he attempts to save a dog from being killed by a truck, he is kidnapped by a greedy uniMind
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a "YA" book. Despite that, as an adult, I really enjoyed reading it.

Gina builds and programs robots. She's good at what she does. She works for uniMIND, one of the premier robotic companies.

ADA was her first robot but uniMIND took her away to weaponize her.

Then she built Cog (short for "cognitive development") a robot (or biomaton) who is designed to learn from good and bad experiences (with Gina at his side).

When uniMIND discovers Cog. They move Gina to another distant lab and they take
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't really for me. The message was a good one, though.
This is the most heartwarming book I have read in my entire life. Game over. Heart is warmed. Possibly overheating. Just amazing.

Cog is a 7 month old robot that looks like a 12 year old boy and in conjunction with his (kind of) sister, a robot dog, and a smart car he's going on an adventure to make sure the scientist who has been raising him is not sad. Along the way, there's a lot of discussion about free will and choosing to be better people (or droids, or whatever). There are also a lot of
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think 8-9 year olds will be so into this! Plenty of humor and action, along with musings about artificial intelligence.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Cog looks like an ordinary twelve year old boy, but he is an advanced android that the scientists at uniMind use to watch learning (cognitive development) behavior. He lives with Gina, who functions as his mother and sets him to do certain tasks so she can watch how he handles them. Often, he does not calculate the entire impact of his actions (like saving a chihuahua from being hit by a truck by getting in front of the truck), which makes him very much like the average
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughts before reading:

This book has been in my radar for a while. It wasn't because I am that interested in science fictions, but only because of my trust in Owlcrate's taste, and I feel like I should read every book they curate in a box. This is one of the books before I subscribed, and the box came with a Wall-E enamel pin! That clinched the deal…I had to read it.

Reading the synopsis doesn't really fill me with excitement.
1. No romance!
No matter what I read, I cannot stay on a book long
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-midgr-8-12yo
Fans of “The Wild Robot” will like this book. It is refreshingly not long-winded (as middle grade books seem to be growing in length beyond the attention span of their target audience). It has everything: cool, timely subject matter of robotics and artificial intelligence; heroism; ethical dilemmas; hot dogs; good decisions and bad decisions; and laugh-out-loud humor. The robot protagonists are not always predictable and their decision-making changes with experiences, which keeps the reader ...more
Becky B
Cog is an android who is working hard to build his cognitive intelligence. But when an attempt to do so ends rather badly, he wakes up to find himself far from his home and Gina who cared for him. He's now in the uniMIND headquarters and when he finds out they want to remove his brain to find something called the X-module. Cog decides he doesn't like the sound of that, and he wants to find Gina so he escapes with four other robots. They set out on a cross-country journey but uniMIND is hot on ...more
Dai Guerra
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cog is a machine built for cognitive development but he looks just like a person. Gina, his caregiver has slowly been teaching him things so he can be independent but Cog gets into an accident. This accident makes it so that he is sent back to the company who created him but they want to take something away from him. Will Cog be able to escape? Who will he meet along the way? What is this company hiding?

This book was such a cute read. I loved all the characters and how real they all felt to me.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book skewed a little younger than I was expecting, but it tackles some pretty nuanced conversations around family, abandonment, agency, and identity. I think it will appeal to a wide range of readers, and will make for the perfect read-aloud before bed with kids of all genders. As one of the characters learns how to manage her anger without losing sight of what the single-mindedness and intensity that came along with that anger can do when constructively channeled, I think this would be a ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I LOVED this story. My son received this book in an Owlcrate, Jr. box, and I actually read it before he did. It is the cutest story of a twelve-year-old-boy-robot, Cog, whose purpose is to learn things. Cog goes on an epic adventure to save the girl who created him, Gina, with three hilarious and incredible companions.

My favorite thing about this book is the way Eekhout uses witty dialogue and narrative to deliver powerful and super important life lessons. Things like: why following the rules is
Iliyana Braykova
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cog is such a sweet sci-fi middle grade story! We follow a very much boy-like robot named Cog whose main task is learning. He knows that the best way to learn is to make mistakes, but he soon finds out that there is much pain in some mistakes. On his journey to finding his "mom" again, Cog coincidentally fights against a corrupt and selfish corporation. "We are more than we're built for" is such a powerful message which the story of Cog and his friends explains so well.
So why not give the book
Chelka Posladek
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-books
This reminded me of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," and of "Boo" (by Neil Smith), with a little bit of "Abundance of Katherines" thrown in. Why that weird mix? It's the narration. Cog, the main character, is an android built for cognitive development. As he's telling you his story, he throws in numerous facts he's learned along the way (especially about platypuses). If you can't handle that weird sort of dry humor + footnote-style asides, this is not the book for you. If, ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter promised a picaresque adventure of a boy-shaped robot.
Then you met Nathan.

I'm not going to spoil it. Suffice it to say that this author's ability to tell stories about humanity's dark side in an entertaining, exciting, truthful, yet age-appropriate way (see The Boy at the End of the World) is remarkable. The ending is hopeful yet does not gloss over the darkness the main characters must keep at bay.

Honestly, while the book was a quick read (as an adult reader who reads
Rhian Pritchard
Oh this book is AMAZING. And ADORABLE. And damn it did not need to go that hard. This is a genuinely lovely story about a robot who looks like a little boy whose only purpose is to learn. It turns into a super-tense, high-stakes race across America that slam-dunks capitalism into a ‘bad idea’ bin. Like damn. It was also consistently hilarious in the perfect kind of nine-year-old way. What happens if you give drones free will? They want to visit the Grand Canyon, obviously. I would happily ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really heartwarming and hilarious tale of a boy robot who is built for learning.
I loved that such a simple story could be jam packed with beautiful life lessons and funny little comments about human thinking and human qualities.
Greg Van Eekhout is a fantastic writer for being able to make a book that's written in first person robot voice (which can get pretty annoying pretty quickly if done poorly) really addicting to read. I couldn't put it down and just wanted to know what happened next.
Linda Stack-Nelson
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly the kind of anti-authoritarian, never-trust-the-corporations-that-claim-to-own-you sci-fi I want every kid to read. Without bashing the entire existence of AI and advanced technology, Van Eekhout smartly interrogates its dark side and the antidotes thereto. This book gave me more adventure, introspection, and laughs than I even expected, and the narration's "robot-y" tone makes it accessible to younger/more reluctant readers without seeming condescending or boring. I never ...more
Debbie Tanner
This is a wonderful adventure story about an artificial intelligence robot named Cog who looks exactly like a 12 year old boy and is programmed to learn about his environment. When Cog goes out into the world to do a little learning (by making mistakes), his inventor is forced to return Cog to the home office (they want to remove his brain), so Cog escapes. This one is funny, exciting, and heartfelt. I'm going to order this one for my library RIGHT NOW.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cog is funny and sweet and did I say funny? Cog is a 12 year old advanced robot that is learning like humans do, through experiences and mistakes. Along his path of learning, he finds other robots that help him and the five of them together are a real hoot. The story moves quickly to keep the reader interested. A shorter book, which is also nice for the kids who can’t handle some of the other science fiction fatties out there. 4th grade and up.
Shirley Freeman
Middle readers will enjoy this action-packed robot escape story. Cog, short for Cognitive Development, has already learned that making mistakes is a good way to learn. So he goes for it! With the help of a robot sister, dog, car and trash collector, Cog manages to save both the day and Gina - the brilliant engineer being held prisoner by the evil Nathan at uniMIND corporation. As the robots learn about free will/freedom of choice, kids will find some interesting concepts to think about.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet little story about courage, adventure, and what it means to be well... human. Cog is all of us when it comes to trying to figure out life. We want to understand why and learn along the way.

I loved the characters of Proto, Cog, Ada, Trashbot, and Car. Each with distinctive personalities, but work well together.

This story is a middle grade reading level. Highly Recommend.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughter got this in her October Owl Crate Jr. (monthly book subscription box). It was a very fun and funny book to read. It had some amazing learning points related to emotions and empathy, and it makes you think about advancements of tech. Such a great read that I was happy I got to share with my girl.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
G.M.T. Schuilling
What an interesting cast of characters! My son and I had never read anything like it and were thrilled with the new experience. The distinction between each robot was very well done and thoroughly engaging. Highly relatable and empathetic writing too. A must read for all middle grade lovers everywhere! ...more
Gail Lynch
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cog is a wonderful science fiction read for elementary and middle school students. Cog is a robot who looks like a real boy. When he takes literally the lessons he learned trouble ensues. He teams up with other robots to find his maker Gina who was sent away. Gina's company is out to stop him, permanently.
I won my copy from a Goodreads giveaway and donated my copy to my school library.
Toya Taylor
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love Love Love

This story is about a AI named Cog. Cog ventures out on his own and gets hit by a truck. He is then picked up by Unimind (robotics technology company). Cog soon learns that he doesn't want to be a robot used for war. He embarks on a journey to free not only himself but the other robots at Unimind.
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Greg van Eekhout writes books. Some are for kids, some are for adults. He lives in San Diego.
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