The Runaway Robot: A DJ Benson Adventure features DJ, a twelve-year-old boy who lives on a farm in the Australian countryside. DJ is curious about the world around him and all things scientific. His best friend is Becky Martin, whose father owns the local computer store.
DJ’s family has just inherited Uncle Clive’s entire fortune. Part of the inheritance is a factory that makes robots. DJ’s father asks the factory to design and build a robot to help back at the farm. The robot is to be delivered unassembled, but before the family can get it back home, it is stolen.
DJ turns to Uncle Clive, who didn’t pass away, but just faked his demise so he could retire from the city and live next door to the Benson’s farm. Uncle Clive suggests they order another robot. DJ asks Becky to help him assemble it, but the new robot is stolen, too! DJ believes that Becky’s father has taken both robots.
He confronts Mr. Martin, who pleads his innocence. DJ is not convinced and sets out to find the two missing robots, only to discover that Mr. Martin and Becky are closely involved. Is Becky’s father, the thief? Can DJ trust Becky? Will the robots be returned? Can DJ save the day?
'So ... when will this thing be ready to take home?’ asked Dad.
‘I would really like another month of trials before I could let you have it,’ replied the engineer.
‘Great!’ I interjected. ‘We get another trip to Sydney to pick it up.’
‘DJ!’ snapped Dad. ‘We can’t afford another trip down here.’
‘Aw ... come on Dad. We’re rich now. Or, have you forgotten? You can hire someone to look after the farm.’
‘Oh - great idea, son. I’d probably have to undo all the damage some stranger would do to the place.’
‘No need to worry, Mr. Benson,’ interrupted the engineer. ’Once the trials are finished, I’ll arrange for the robot to be shipped out to you. We’ll pack it into wooden crates, to ensure that it can’t be started up accidentally, while in transit.’
‘And how will we get it together?’ Dad asked, thoughtfully.
‘We’ll include a full set of instructions. You don’t have to worry - even a child could assemble it.’
‘Great, Dad!’ I exclaimed. ‘That can be my job.’
‘Yes, DJ,’ answered Dad, with a glum look on his face. He turned back to the engineer. ‘Will the crates be delivered straight to the farm?’
‘We’ll dispatch the crates by express courier. I believe you get a daily service into Waycope. That should be your closest depot to pick it up.’
‘Hmm,’ answered Dad, absently. ‘So we’ll get our robot in about a month?’
‘That’s right, Mr. Benson. By then, we should have ironed out any bugs.’
No-one could have imagined, then, that bugs with the robot would be the least of our problems.
Another great adventure with twelve-year-old DJ Benson and, this time, he's solving mysteries with his friend Becky Martin. When DJ's family buys a robot with some of Uncle Clive's inheritance, they get more than they bargained for. Even before the robot arrives at the Benson farm, it goes missing. DJ sets out to find the culprit and manages to literally lose his friend Becky along the way. In order to find the robot and Becky, DJ stumbles on a way to cross over to a parallel universe and then he has to figure out how to get them all back into their own world once again.
Like the first book in this series, The Markwell Manor Mystery, this second DJ Benson adventure is full of turns and lots of humour. Primary school age children are bound to find this an enjoyable read
Anna del C. Dye's Blog
This is an excellent story for kids from eight to twelve years old that others will enjoy, too. It is easy to read and a great mix of an old-fashioned country family and a robot. The combination alone is very imaginative and J.A.’s writing did the rest. It is clean and fun, delivered from the young characters point of view, which helps ink in his personality. The characters are fun, real and very likable.
Daniel Benson’s Dad stood with him in the research and development section of the robotics factory they had inherited from Uncle Clive when he saw the robots for the first time. Yet, that was not the only thing they inherited from his uncle. In matter of days they were the wealthy owners of a mansion in Sydney, several businesses, and a rather large fortune. But it is the robots that change their quiet country lives when one was stolen with their only car, leaving the family stranded in town. Soon more than just stolen robots are happening in their out of the way, small town. People are doing really odd things, and no one knows why. People changing their minds and disappearing in a puff of air is only part of it. That is until DJ and his best friend Becky figure it all out.
The tale is part of a series called DJ Benson Adventures and is well written and entertaining. It is great reading for kids and adults alike. It would be a great asset to any school’s library or home bookshelf. I am quite sure the rest of the series will be worth checking out, too.