I'm not very hopeful of ever finding this book because I was in grade 3 and don't remember much. Also, it was in 1985, which is so long ago now, but I guess it's a clue because it was published before then.

I just have a memory of the cover, either someone with golden armor or a robot standing next to a big rock, staring off into the distance. There may have been a city it was looking to. The land may have been desolate and the city was salvation? There was maybe a giant crevasse?

I periodically think about it, then randomly look through old fantasy/sci-fi book covers on Google but I can never seem to find it. Here's hoping the internet hive-mind can do better than me.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you recall anything about the story? Even just if the golden figure was a protagonist or antagonist?
    – DavidW
    Feb 7 at 22:50
  • 1
    Since you use the term "grade 3" there's a reasonable chance you were in Canada; in which case you probably would have seen U.K. covers for a lot of books. Thinking about juveniles that would be appropriate to read to a class, would have been published before 1985, and with a cover somewhat similar to your description, The Guardian of Isis stands out. Do you remember the name "Olwen?"
    – DavidW
    Feb 7 at 23:20
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    DavidW's guess is a great one. Another possibility is Whelan's Robots of Dawn cover. isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?46321
    – Cassfrank
    Feb 7 at 23:43
  • Robots of Dawn was my first thought also
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 8 at 0:16
  • 1
    In the US Grade 3 is about 8 years old.
    – Mark Olson
    Feb 8 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


This is likely The Guardian of Isis by Monica Hughes

Cover art by Terry Oakes

This book was pretty popular in school libraries, particularly in Canada as the author is Canadian. The book was originally published in 1981, but the one shown is from the Magnet editions in 1982 and 1983, and the art is by Terry Oakes.

  • Golden armour/robot? Check. (the eponymous Guardian - an android)
  • Big rocks? Check.
  • Staring? Check.
  • Crevasse? Check. (sort of)

There's no city, but there are other characters pointing toward a valley that is the only human-habitable region on the planet due to its thin atmosphere — highlands are subject to low oxygen and deadly UV rays.

  • Incidentally, I recently reread this trilogy as an adult and they were a lot of fun (the first two, in particular). I'd recommend checking it out. Feb 8 at 18:05
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    I can't upvote but I think this may be it. I'll check it out from the library and read to to see if anything clicks. Thanks! And yes, I'm Canadian.
    – amclean
    Feb 8 at 21:22
  • ...Canadian, eh? Feb 9 at 16:37

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