The Runaway Robot

ISBN: 059002261X
ISBN 13: 9780590022613
By: Lester del Rey

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Favorites Fiction Robots Sci Fi Science Fiction Sf To Read Ya Young Adult Youth

About this book

"We're returning to earth," Paul's father tells him. Paul is wildly excited, for all human beings on the planet Ganymede dream of going back to Earth some day. Then Paul finds out that he cannot take his robot Rex with him. Rex has been his constant companion for sixteen years. Leave him behind? Never!So begins a series of breathtaking adventures in space as Paul and his robot Rex attempt to outwit the forces that seek to separate them.

Reader's Thoughts


One of my favorites by Del Rey. Maybe 3 and a half stars.


I picked this up at a bookfair yesterday (based on its title, the subject matter, and the affectionately worn Scholastic Book Services packaging) for my five year old nephew, and while he enjoyed it, I found it somewhat disappointing.

Andrew Wooldridge

One of the first sci-fi books I read as a kid. It's one that really sticks with me even after all this time. The technology is dated of course, but the characters and the story are pretty compelling for a young reader nevertheless.

Stephen Antczak

I distinctly remember an earlier version of this book that I read in the '70s.


What's not to love in revisiting a story where a kid and a robot stow away on a space freighter? Isn't that the most straight-ahead premise for a book for boys ever? I wasn't expecting much, except some nostalgia from a book I read originally in (4th?) grade. Although this won't come back in print, I'm sure, it's kind of fun to look at the parts of this kids' sci-fi that still stand up, and aren't embarrassing from a 2012 POV. Moons of Jupiter are inhabited, but not Jupiter. The moon Gannymede, where people farm weird fungi, is tidally locked with Jupiter dominating the sky. Mars is inhabited, but has a very thin atmosphere, requires (lightweight) space suits when outside 'the domes,' and has terrible sandstorms. On the other hand, the 'bad' stuff is campy enough that it's fun. There are sentient species from Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Pluto. Ah, yes. Also there are visiphones, with visiphone books and human operators to help you look up visiphone numbers. And paper tickets bought in person for space travel. Like I say, campy enough to be fun.


چند سال از رویاهای کودکیم رو با این کتاب سر کردم

Siobhan Parker

A Quickie ReviewThough George Lucas' space opera is easily the best-known science fiction work, intergalactic tales were alive and well before Star Wars, and The Runaway Robot is an excellent example. Narrated from the android's perspective, it's a well-written, fun, and cute story of a 'bot who doesn't want to lose his best mate. The book may prove hard to find, given its age and "out of print" status, but I'm sure any young science fiction fan would adore it. Score: 4/5

Karl Bullinger

One of my favorite books. When I first read it, in sixth grade, I couldn't put it down. It seems a little dated, technologically, now, but the story is still wonderful. I look forward to reading it to my daughter some day.


A cute, clean story about a boy and his robot.

Philip Athans

When I first read this, age maybe 8 or 9, it made me cry.


I have this exact same edition on my shelves.


My first "favorite book"


A great 6th grade memory!


I fell in love with Rex when I read this book as a child, and that's why I became a roboticist. He's loyal, funny, hardworking, smart, and clever. I still think about the scene where he had to change his own batteries, or the time he knew something was wrong with him but didn't know how to diagnose it. Oh, if only any of my own robots were half as capable and lovable as Rex.Sadly, this book did not stand up well to rereading as an adult. Or maybe I was just too quick to take umbrage at the depiction of a patriarchal society where the women stay at home and mend spacesuits while the men do all the "real work".


A lighthearted tale about a boy and his robot, I found this book tucked behind some others on a shelf in a discount book store. I knew right away that is was going to be a sweet tale and couldn't wait to get started. I was not disappointed.

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