I recently finished reading Tin by Padraig Kenny. I picked it up in Waterstones a few weeks ago whilst spending some vouchers I had. This was right next to the till. The cover made me want to pick it up (I always judge books by their cover).

Orphan Christopher works for Mr Absalom, an engineer of mechanical children. He’s happy being the only ‘real’ boy among his scrap-metal buddies made from bits and bobs – until an accident reveals an awful truth.

What follows is a remarkable adventure as the friends set out to discover who and what they are, and even what it means to be human


This is a children’s book. Probably aimed at young teenagers. As far as I am concerned though, a good book is a good book.

This is a rather glorious story focusing on some rather broken mechanicals. Living alongside humans (think along the lines of the film A.I). Mechanicals are robots basically. They serve many purposes within this world. For example as children to replace a loved one. Or to work. Mr Absalom is an unlicensed engineer who has patched up and fixed his mechanicals – Round Rob, Jack, Gripper and Manda with the help of a young boy – Christopher. They are helped by Estelle (I KNOW, IT’S MY NAME!!!) who makes flesh or skin to help patch up the mechanicals.

The story really makes you think about what makes you human. After an accident, Christopher is thrown into his own adventure. He has to discover who he really is and where he really came from. When the other mechanicals and Estelle set out to rescue him they meet one of the greatest mechanical engineers that ever lived – Mr Cormier. They all set out to rescue their friend Christopher and each learn something new about themselves, each other and what makes you human.

Each character is written tenderly, with exquisite details that are really immersive. The story sets out questions of war, morality and shows you how powerful friendship can be, with or without a human connection.

I loved Estelle and not just because she shares my name, but because she shares my stubborn fiery nature but has a softer glow underneath. The story holds a good amount of adventure, love and a moral lesson. This is then packaged up into a gloriously beautiful story that makes you ache for a happy ending.

Whatever your age, I would highly recommend reading this book. It’s quite short and would make the ideal story to read to your children, or have your child read to you. Pick up a copy from Waterstones for a RRP of £6.99

Have you read Tin? What were your thoughts? Get in touch below.


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