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Greta Zargo and the Death Robots from Outer Space

Greta Zargo is an amazing and persistent heroine. For children who enjoy Science Fiction stories, have a really good reading ability, and don’t mind some humour, this is just the book. Greta has all the hallmarks of a heroine as her parents died and left behind a will with a spelling mistake. Instead of leaving all their wealth to their daughter at eighteen, they wrote eight on the will. So we have this young lady in her own home, (with a scientist aunty across the road), lots of money and an inquisitive mind.

 The story is constructed in two parts. We follow Greta in her day to day life, investigating the theft of cakes, and pursuing a career as a journalist.  She lives in Upper Lowerbridge, England, Earth. The second part of the story is intertwined and every other  chapter tells the name of the planet that a silver robot has landed on (Cestrypip) , how many light years away from earth it is (965), and how many earth years ago this happened (187,242 years): as the chapters progress, the time line becomes closer to our present time.

 The purpose of the silver robot visiting the planets is to ask politely if it can take over their world. Once an agreement has been made, all the resources are removed and used to make more robots. Eventually the silver robot reaches the present day and approaches the President of the USA. It asks if it can take over the planet and the female President says, “What’s in it for us?”   She enjoys a good laugh, and swaps her power for photos of amusingly shaped androids. Meanwhile, Greta has been very busy with her investigations. These involve her grandfathers and her aunt.

 There is a large amount of information to be read and assimilated in this book. An avid reader will enjoy the story as well as many extras. Some of the pages have writing going sideways along the edge of the page. Often this will explain an idea that has been discussed. At the end of the book, there is a quiz to answer to show how many of the details the reader has absorbed. The cartoons add to the gentle humour of the story, and help to strengthen the meaning. A reader will need to be competent to enjoy this to the full.

AuthorA.F. Harrald. Illustrated: Joe Todd-Stanton
PublisherBloomsbury Children
ReleasedSeptember 2017