Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more


Written by Kirsty Applebaum

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) School Stories

LoveReading View on TrooFriend

A striking and memorable futuristic fable about what it is to be human and what it is to be a friend

Narrated by Ivy, the Troofriend 560 Mark IV robot, purchased to be her friend by Sarah’s busy parents instead of the puppy she wished for, means that we have a unique perspective on the story from the very start. Seeing the world through robotic eyes gives rise to lots of humour, but the incredibly subtle changes in Ivy’s language and actions also builds the tension throughout as we can see Ivy  beginning to think for herself and as humans, we can recognise her increasingly human reactions and feelings, which are of course forbidden! It is fascinating to see the progress of the public outcry about the dangers of these new robots in the light of the spread of the current pandemic panic. We observe too the changes in Sarah as her empathy and compassion develop. Sarah’s parental neglect and the friendship and self-esteem issues she faces at school will resonate with many children and really engage them with the moral and ethical issues the book raises with such a skilful light touch. The typesetting and use of different fonts  for Ivy’s speech and  her internal dialogue make this a very accessible and fast paced read and incidentally make it a sure fire hit for a class readaloud if you like doing voices! Just like the authors highly praised debut The Middler, this is a superbly rewarding and highly recommended novel.

Joy Court

Other Info

The Editor of Nosy Crow says: “The voice of the AI is fantastic – so human and yet not. This is a brilliant book about what it is to be human, seen through the eyes of a machine…”

TrooFriend Synopsis

Imagine having the perfect friend, one who never steals, lies or bullies. Now you can, with the TrooFriend 560, the latest in artificial intelligence! What can go wrong with a robot buddy? Especially one that's developing human characteristics and feelings, and who has just run away with her human?

TrooFriend Press Reviews

Praise for The Middler;

“This is a quirky, original adventure about friendship and loyalty, betrayal and trust, kindness and greed, told as Maggie’s vibrant narrative, with striking characters and a happy ending in which all siblings are equal.”   – Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“I thought I’d almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum… has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along and I liked Maggie more and more as she grew in courage.” – Alex O’Connell, The Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“Maggie, a worthless Middler, learns to fight back for what’s right in this brilliant story of forbidden friendship, betrayal and deceit.” – Mel Darbon, author of Rosie Loves Jack

“[P]age-turning masterful middle-grade!”  – Tracy Darnton, author of The Truth About Lies

“This unusual and exciting story is a thought-provoking tale about forbidden friendship, thinking for yourself, and he importance of standing up for what’s right.”  – The Week Junior, Book of the Week

“Applebaum explores themes of family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal in an assured debut.”  – The Bookseller

If you loved this, you might like these...

Proud of Me
The Elephant in the Room
The Incredible Record Smashers

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788003476
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788003476
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Author: Kirsty Applebaum
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 208 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , School Stories
Collections: 85 Brilliant Books about Friendships,

About Kirsty Applebaum

Kirsty was born in Essex and grew up in Hampshire. She has had a wide variety of jobs including bookselling, railway re-signalling, picking stones off conveyor belts, putting lids on perfume bottles and teaching Pilates. She now lives with her husband on top of a hill in Winchester.

More About Kirsty Applebaum

More Books By Kirsty Applebaum

Cover for The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum
Cover for The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke by Kirsty Applebaum
View All Books By Kirsty Applebaum

Share this book