by J. V. Kade
Dial, 2003. 356 pgs. Science Fiction.
The very cool cover of this book (as you can see), makes one think that the book is about a war between people and robots. Actually, the war between the Bots and the people of the United Districts (formerly, the United States) is already over. As people programmed robots to do much of their manufacturing and drudge jobs, they also programmed them to be more like human beings. Eventually the robots wanted human rights and the people kicked them out. Into this setting comes twelve-year-old Trout (Aidan) St. Croix. He lives with his older brother Po because his father went missing during the Bot Wars. When Trout sends out a vid feed asking for help to find his dad, the wild rumpus starts. Po is arrested and Trout makes a run for the border where, with a little help from a bot named LT, he finds his father and a thriving community of people and Bots--and some who are part one, part the other. But how to save Po? Trout and his friends must do something if he wants to have any family left in the world. Bot Wars has thrills aplenty, and some hope for a sequel. It also has a whole new futuristic set of slang terms young readers may want to appropriate: "wrenched" instead of "cool"; "geared out" instead of "freaked out"; and "split" instead of "sweet" or "rad." Lots of fun.