I saw a review of this calling it ‘Black Mirror for children’ and I completely agree! It has a plausible, realistic plot which has dark undertones. You can imagine a future where this might happen!
Jenson & Jenson have created the TrooFriend Mark IV – the perfect replacement friend for children. They don’t lie, steal or bully and will never hurt you. Although they simulate human feelings, they’re androids who can be controlled. At least, that’s how they’re sold.
When Sarah’s mother buys her a TrooFriend, Sarah isn’t particularly pleased. She’s more concerned with becoming Felicity’s friend than looking after a robot. But soon, she discovers the advantages of having Ivy – her newly named TrooFriend – and enjoys having her. Even her parents are both on board.
But soon, there are worrying reports of children being injured in the presence of their android. There are even reports of the TrooFriend Mark IV having feelings. Everyone knows that can’t be true…can it?
I absolutely loved the style of writing Kirsty has used within this story. The way the chapters ended each time Ivy was switched off; how the way words were written reflected her demeanour; how the character of Ivy was clearly – and cleverly – developed throughout the book.
It is one which makes you think and raises interesting debates and discussions – definitely ones which I think would be very good to have in the classroom (or even with your friends over drinks!).