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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  121 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 scien
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  488 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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The Artisan Geek

I read this one, because it's a Nebula award finalist for the MG and YA category, and it was so good! Wow! The characters are so cute and funny, it's hard not to root for them :) We get to experience first-hand how the main character Cog, learns (the at times tough) lessons of life . Van Eekhout managed to so deftly weave those into the narrative, whilst still providing a thoroughly entertaining story centred around artificial intelligence and our future with it. Honestly this would be per
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Story of a boy named Cog who also happens to be an advanced robot. When he's damaged after trying to save a dog, he's separated from Gina, the woman who built him and who is helping him learn about the world. He finds himself in the corporate headquarters of the company who funded his development and finds they may not have the best motives for building intelligent automata. Aided by other robots, he goes on a cross country quest for Gina. It's great fun to watch Cog learn about the world and ab ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
This book was so cute! I wasn't sure if I would like it at the beginning.
I absolutely loved the characters. They were all so dynamic and fun. I loved the little lessons snuck in there that a robot would want to or feel like it had to explain.
There was a lot of humor in it and I found myself laughing out loud several times.
As an adult, I still really enjoyed this middle grade book, so if you are an adult looking for something quick and fun, this is the book for you!
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know even know where to start. I’m cheesing over this book so much!
I bought it for my nephew on a whim one day - hoping that it would be an at least ok book. Well after he finished it, he gave it back and said I HAD to read it.
So I gathered my little ones around, and we read. My kids who don’t enjoy family book night we’re rolling on the floor laughing. They picked up new words and are using them in normal every day sentences. They are letting the characters inspire their artwork.
I lo
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This book was a surprise to me because it packed a lot of philosophical ideas into such a small kids book.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 12 April 2020 at Falling Letters..

I realize now that I didn’t take enough notes while reading to give Cog the review it deserves. I do recall my initial impression: a surprisingly strong and nuanced read, for such an unassuming little book. I was very glad it wasn’t 400+ pages.

Cog is a lovely story with great pacing. The personalities of each robot is clearly differentiated. They contribute to moving the story forward in a meaningful way. Cog’s unique narrative voice
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
Lydia Liuba
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a cute middle grade audiobook to listen to in bed before falling asleep. I did not expect this to turn as dark as it did, but I did end up being so invested in the plot that I finished listening to it this morning.

The story follows Cog, a 12 year old boy for all intents and purposes - except for the fact that he is really a 7 month old robot build for learning. He lives with Gina, his creator and caregiver, until one day after an accident, he finds himself in the corporation wh
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!
Nicole M. Hewitt
This book is wonderful because of its incredibly unique middle-grade voice. The MC is a robot boy, and his perspective on the world is humorous and sometimes incredibly insightful. The story focused on friendship and the concept of free will (in a way that middle graders will relate to). It would be perfect for the slightly younger MG crowd since it’s a little lighter fare than the current MG trend (and also shorter), but that didn’t prevent it from having some impactful messages. I found this t ...more
Renee Priddis
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read aloud to the kids. Hilarious and enjoyed reading it nightly to the kids.
Skye Walker
May 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Cog, a nominee for the Andre Norton Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction (awarded with the Nebula awards), is the story of a robot who was built to learn. Mentally and, by all appearances, the titular character (Cog) is a 12-year-old boy whose function is to be a learning artificial intelligence. When he discovers that the best way to learn is to make mistakes, he resolves to make lots of mistakes — a decision which kicks off the narrative arc of the story.

Cog has an underdog main char
Christina Pilkington
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

Until I saw it listed on this year’s Nebula shortlist, I had never heard of this book. But I’m so glad it was on the list because it was so cute!

Cute yet surprisingly deep at the same time. It was an AI, found family, road trip mission, high-stakes escape novel exploring the ideas of free will and choice, individual purpose and corporate greed.

At the beginning of the novel we meet Cog, short for cognitive development- a robot who was designed to learn. He’s happily living with his creator when
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 execut
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
Beth Cato
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, science, middle, nebula
I read this as part of my Norton finalist packet.

Cog is a middle grade science fiction novel packed full of heart. Cog is a robot boy with a love of learning. He can tell you everything you'd ever want to know about cheese and platypuses. He's happy living in a house and learning from his caregiver, Gina. But after he dives into traffic to save a dog, he awakens patched-up in the main facility of his corporate maker. Not only is Gina gone, but the other scientists aren't so nice. The solution: b
This novel by Greg Van Eekhout surprised me with its humor and heart. Cog and his robotic friends are endearing characters, and the questions about free will and cruelty to those with less power will stay with readers after the last page. Recommended.

Read more at Bookish Adventures.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't really for me. The message was a good one, though. ...more
Leah (Jane Speare)
Beautiful middle grade novel about empathy and learning that I will be putting into every possible kid’s hands.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 Le
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sooo good! If you like the movie Short Circuit, you’ll love this. Super funny, exciting, heartwarming, and even a lot of deep thoughts about free will and what makes people human, if you like that kind of thing. :)
Tiffani Reads
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so good! I sat down to read a bit of this book and ended up finishing the whole book in one sitting.
Tom Priddis
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Charming little book. Read with the kids. Laughed a lot.
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
Angela Ang
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh! This was a very good book! 3rd/4th grade +
Cog by Greg Van Eekhout is the story about five robots trying to run from the sinister and evil uniMIND. It’s accessible, fast-paced, funny, and not too fantastical.
Cog is short for cognitive development. He was a robot built to learn by a kind robotics engineer named Gina. But after an accident, he falls into the hands of uniMIND, finds he has a robot sister named ADA, and realizes Gina was much kinder than the money and power hungry individuals kee
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 gues ...more
I think 8-9 year olds will be so into this! Plenty of humor and action, along with musings about artificial intelligence.
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 th ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cog, short for "cognitive development," is a young robot whose primary purpose is to learn. He lives in a home with his caring creator and is still largely naive of life and the ways of the world. Then he is badly damaged in an accident and awakens to learn he has been moved to a new life in a research facility, his creator reassigned somewhere far away. He also learns that his new owner is much more nefarious, so he decides to escape to hunt for his old one. He does so, accompanied by a team of ...more
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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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