Robots on Parade!

THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY is an action-packed sci-fi adventure that will keep middle-graders turning the pages to follow every nail-biting twist and turn of this thrilling tale. Kids will also be won over by protagonist Miranda’s unforgettable robot, Ruby. I certainly was! In fact, Amazon listed THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY as its Number One New Release in Children’s Robot Fiction Books, so to celebrate I thought I’d ask other EMLA debut authors about their favorite robots.

Hayley Barrett says:

I’ll take the Jetson’s wise-cracking, big-hearted, all-capable Rosey. She’d roll in on her one leg, red eyes blinking and antennae bing-bing-binging, taking care of household business and not hesitating give rude Mr. Spacely his pineapple-upside-down comeuppance. “The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers.” Gotta love Rosey’s gumption!

Darcy Rosenblatt says:

I loved Lost in Space but I also love and fear the Cylons from The remake of Battlestar Galactica. As a writer they are such deep and interesting characters. Frightening because they are part of a history that could happen.


Jason Gallaher says:

I mean, I have to go with WALL-E! A robot who is also a hopeless romantic and just wants to find true love? Yes, please! Also who’s environmentally friendly? WALL-E, me and FernGully sounds like a recipe for a perfect vacation!

Christina Uss says:

I feel like L. Frank Baum’s Tin Man was the first robot-ish character with whom I really connected. Our library had these big Wizard of Oz books with excellent pen-and-ink illustrations and I always thought the Tin Man looked nicer and more trustworthy than any of Dorothy’s other traveling companions.

Then my older brother was Star Wars-obsessed when we were growing up, and I remember occasionally being invited into his room to listen to “The Story of Star Wars” record on his tiny record player, and looking at the album cover of R2-D2 and C3PO while listening to their dialog. Was there ever a robot who communicated so much without a single word as R2? I wanted him for my very own.

Lately, I’ve fallen for a new literary robot: Roz, from Peter Brown’s THE WILD ROBOT. I read this novel out loud to my kids this summer and it was a real page-turner – not only to see how Roz would learn to adapt and survive with each new challenge that came her way, but also to see how Brown chose to draw her in all kinds of odd circumstances. I think Roz and THE CONSPIRACY COUNTDOWN’S Ruby would become friends if their book worlds ever collide and they meet!

And finally, let’s hear from THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY’s author herself!


Katie Slivensky says:

C-3PO and R2D2 will forever be my top robots. As a kid, I lived and breathed Star Wars. It’s no surprise at all a mechanical sidekick found its way into my debut novel. 😉 Ruby definitely came from the part of my brain that always longed for my own R2 unit!


As robots continue to become a more integral part of our everyday lives, there is no doubt that we’ll see more robots in fiction, too. But THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY’s Ruby will certainly be an unforgettable addition to the world of beloved robots. Congratulations, Katie!

Kat Shepherd is a writer and educator living in Los Angeles with her husband, two dogs, and a rotating series of foster dogs. Currently the only robot in her life is a vacuum cleaner. Her Babysitting Nightmares series (Macmillan/Imprint) debuts in fall 2018. You can find Kat at or connect with her on Twitter @bookatshepherd.







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2 responses to “Robots on Parade!

  1. Christina Uss

    Ruby is sure to be an unforgettable addition to the robot pantheon. Katie or Kat: is there a link anywhere for kids who want to print up a Ruby of their own?

    Liked by 1 person

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