Heads Up Tim-Tron ISBN: 9780992660604
Published by Children's Trust, 2013
Tim-Tron is a young robot who has a computer for a brain and who lives in a town made up of houses that look like different forms of technology. He likes playing tricks on his sister, Betty-Bot, but when he does, his mum tells him off, and he has computed that she has done this three thousand times! Tim-Tron is good at football, but when he tries a 'daring save' he hits his head on the goal post with a loud 'claaaang!' This means a week off school, but when he goes back, he notices some problems. He gets mixed up when his friends are talking, and his battery levels are low so that he gets tired and is slower at downloading his lessons than he used to be. There's nothing for it but a visit to the doctor, who sends him for a scan. We see Tim-Tron going through the scanner and staying very still and then the doctor explaining that the bang on his head has made one of his circuit boards stop working. This means his other circuit boards are having to work harder, and that slows him down. The doctor suggests that Tim-Tron will need more rest, and that having routines will help; so he 'powers up' at the same time each morning, and 'powers down' at the same time each night. Lists help too. Soon he is able to make a robot pet cat for Betty-Bot and to go on the school trip to see 'the mountains of Mars'. But he still plays tricks on poor Betty-Bot, and at last count, mum had told him off four thousand times! This is a brilliant story, and the illustrations are bright, clever, and full of humour. The fact that the protagonists are robots instead of people helps to distance the problems just that little bit for children who may be sensitive about their newly-acquired disabilities. Much of the text is integrated into the pictures, and this adds immediacy to the whole. Top Gear star, Richard Hammond, is Vice-president of The Children's Trust, and he is producing an audiobook of the story. He, of course, also suffered brain injury after an accident.The really good news is that the book is available form the Trust free, paying only the postage and packing charges. It recently won an innovation award from the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum - and very well deserved too. This is a story that belongs in every school where there is a brain injured child, and it cannot be bettered as a general book about disability. The book is available from: The Children's Trust, Tadworth Court, Tadworth Surrey, KT20 5RU or from their web site: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/books.