BOOK BLOG: Padraig Kenny

Tin – an incredible story which explores what it really means to be “human”


“Christopher is ‘Proper’: a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after a devastating accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher’s world is changed for ever… What follows is a remarkable adventure, as Christopher discovers who he really is, and what it means to be human”

I had seen so much positivity surrounding this book from the people on my Twitter that I HAD to have it. So when I saw it was Waterstones Book of the Month and the incredible window display at Waterstones Newcastle, I ran in and bought a copy.


Tin explores the story of Christopher, an orphan who lives with an engineer and his robot friends, who discovers something which changes his life forever. He isn’t the person he has believed he was. His life changes drastically. There’s an incredible adventure he goes on, with some brilliantly fun and other sinister characters. His robot friends go on a mission to save him, to remind him who he really is. He doesn’t need to be a human to be Christopher. He doesn’t need to be “proper” to be the person they really love. 

There’s an amazing portrayal of friendship in this book and that was such a wonderful thing to read. You see the robots and the “proper” characters getting on swimmingly. There’s bravery from all. You learn about Christopher’s history, how he became who he is today. The book touches beautifully on what it means to be human – the robots show incredible compassion and love towards each other and the humans. That’s what it means to be human. To show compassion, empathy and love towards people who need it. 

The world building in this book is brilliant. The vocabulary is so rich and the descriptions so inviting that you feel like you’re in the world. You feel the warmth of the house in Christopher’s memories; the coldness of the room Christopher is held in; the harshness of the city. I love when a book gives me the feeling of being immersed in the world with the characters, and this one does not disappoint. 

I loved the characters a lot. Round Rob is a particular favourite of mine. He’s just wonderfully fun. I was a little bit taken by Gripper too. He’s this big chunk of metal. What’s not to love? I particularly loved the brazen brilliance of Estelle too. She’s a “proper” (a human girl), who makes skin, and she’s just a massive ball of feisty-ness. Along with the robots, she goes in pursuit of what she knows is right. She wants to save her friend. She’s brilliant. She’s a firm favourite with the kids at school too. 

Have you read Tin?
Could you imagine learning that your whole life has been a whole lie?
What would you do if your friend was taken?

Talk to me! Send me a postcard, a tweet or a comment. 

S x

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