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In the late 1980s, I read a novel series that spanned several generations of a human colony on a Earth-like extraterrestrial planet. It was probably available through Scholastic Books (in Canada) since that's where a lot of these novels came from at the time at my elementary school. Almost certainly it was a kid's book (preteen/young adult).

The protagonists were children and many of their interactions were with robot guardians. I think they had no parents and been raised by humanoid robots since birth, and as it was written from their perspective, they had no memory of their travel (e.g. cryogenics or a colony ship). The planet had Earth-like flora and fauna (if there was any talk of terraforming, it happened before the first novel began).

One detail I remember is that the robots made prefab houses for everyone from some kind of plastic resin. These were initially intended as temporary housing with the expectation that the humans would soon build proper permanent houses, but in later books in the series (at least a generation after founding) it was clear this goal had not been realized, and surviving humans were either still living in these huts or in very primitive dwellings (e.g. wooden huts).

One of the themes in the later books (set after the first generation) was the descent of the human colony into ignorance and selfishness accompanied by a rejection of the still-functioning robots and the legacy of Earth.

Would be very curious to know if anyone can identify this novel series and how far my memory has strayed from the truth.

marked as duplicate by Otis, tobiasvl, Ward, Machavity, Radhil Nov 4 '17 at 18:14

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  • Welcome to SFF! You have a great question here. However, every little bit helps, so would you mind taking a look at this guide to help jog your memory and see if you can edit in any more details? – amflare Nov 1 '17 at 14:29
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    A lot of what you're mentioning (Canadian novel, earth-like planet, prefab buildings, robot guardians, etc) remind me a lot of my own question (scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/151028/…) the answer to which turned out to be Monica Hughes' Isis trilogy. The main difference is that there was only one person raised by a robot guardian, but it might be worth checking just in case. – Vanguard3000 Nov 1 '17 at 14:40
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    Wiki links to The Keeper of the Isia Light: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Keeper_of_the_Isis_Light and The Guardian of Isis: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guardian_of_Isis for cover images and possible memory-jogging. – Vanguard3000 Nov 1 '17 at 14:41
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    Thank you @Vanguard3000, I'm mostly sure that's it. The bit on the WP summary about one of the humans had been genetically engineered for conditions on that plane jogged something: I think I remember that from the original story, and if so that would seem to clinch it. The cover art doesn't ring a bell, but I suspect I was read this story in class by the teacher instead of reading it on my own, so that may be the reason there. – saforrest Nov 1 '17 at 15:06