Cheyenne, November 24, 2013 (view all comments by Cheyenne)
I loved this book!! It is sort of a middle grade sci-fi/dystopian novel which I have never heard of or read before. The characters in the book are so amazingly well written. Each one is so individual and unique and I couldn't help but fall in love with them. Otto was definitely my favorite.
I thought that the pacing of the story was done really well. I never felt like there was slow moving parts. Each page seemed like it had a point to help out the story. The book also contains many truly fantastic illustrations which added to the book in such a brilliant way. I was sucked into this book from the very beginning.
I hadn't really known what to expect from this book so I was pleasantly surprised to absolutely love this book. There is a sequel which I will hopefully be able to read in the near future.
Erin Clarkson, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Erin Clarkson)
The story of post-apocalyptic Earth is not a new one. It’s been told in science fiction, in fantasy, and most recently in an abundance of young adult dystopian fiction. I was not expecting to find such a story in a middle grade book by Spiderwick Chronicles author Tony DiTerlizzi.
The Search for WondLa is the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Eva Nine. She lives in an underground Sanctuary with her robot caretaker Muthur, and longs to explore the outside world. One night the Sanctuary is attacked by a strange and violent beast, and Eva is forced into the world above. There she discovers that the planet and life she had been prepared for by Muthur and her self-contained habitat are nothing like what she finds. Making friends with Rovender Kitt, a native of the planet, and Otto, a lost water bear, Eva ventures with these two and Muthur into the strange wonder of this new world, on a quest to discover what happened to her people and to find her future.
This book falls solidly between the middle grade and young adult classifications. Because Eva is only twelve, this would place the book with a younger audience, but the content and depth of Eva’s story raises it to a YA level. There is violence in this world, beyond what you would find in the average middle grade novel. The complexity of the native cultures, as well as the science of Muthur and Eva’s sanctuary also are surprising and intriguing. DiTerlizzi has built a place that is real and alive with beauty and darkness, more like what you find in The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series.
Initially my interest in the story was limited by Eva, mostly because she is so young, but also because her character does not have a lot of range in this first book (and yes, this is going to be a trilogy, no surprise). Eva is a typical twelve-year-old girl who’s sick of being stuck inside with mother and wants to go explore. And when she does get outside and discovers that the world is not an easy place to survive in, she is frightened and often turns to Muthur or her other friends for help. What saved the story for me was that while Eva did not per see change, she did at moments show a hidden inner strength--one that you would expect to develop as she grows older. When Eva stands up and demands for her life, for her safety, for her friends, she glows like the heroine that I look for in a good book.
Overall this was a great story, and a great adventure. The online content looks amazing--interactive maps that you can explore using your book and a webcam--and I looking forward to the next installation in this series, due out sometime in 2012.
In this first book of a new series, DiTerlizzi (co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles) presents a beautifully illustrated science-fiction story full of engaging characters, edge-of-your-seat action, and some truly surprising twists. It will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment.
by Billie Bloebaum
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Spiderwick Chronicles coauthor DiTerlizzi introduces 12-year-old Eva Nine, who lives centuries in the future and is trying to discover whether she is the last human being on an alien world, in this series launch. After a hunter forces her out of Sanctuary — where she's been raised by a robot, Muthr — she finds a hostile world like nothing she has learned about or trained for. She makes friends, including a wanderer named Rovender and a telepathic 'water horse' she calls Otto, but also finds unexpected enemies. While there is less imaginative variety than in the Spiderwick books, and the world does not seem as fully envisioned, there is still wonder aplenty in this tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, plus twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone-styled stories. The bond between Eva and her friends is well drawn, and Otto, happily, is more than just a human in alien form. DiTerlizzi's evocative, detailed pen illustrations (not all seen by PW), which have a retro Star Wars vibe, and interactive maps online, unlocked via Augmented Reality, contribute to a sense of adventure as Eva dives into the unknown. Ages 10up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by School Library Journal (starred review),
"DiTerlizzi is pushing the envelope in his latest work, nearly creating a new format that combines a traditional novel with a graphic novel and with the interactivity of the computer....The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment."
"DiTerlizzi packs the book full of handsome, dual-toned artwork that will help readers visualize some of the more complicated imagery, and a companion Web site makes use of a computer's webcam and augmented reality technology to create one of the niftier online experiences in the growing ranks of multiplatform books."
by Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books,
"Imaginative, accessible technologies combine with fanciful creatures to create perpetual wonder in this fast-moving narrative; plentiful illustrations provide visual referents to the oddities as well as contributing an animated-movie vibe to the action. The journey plot is straightforward enough for nascent fantasy buffs..."
The Search for WondLa kicks off a fantastical new series from Tony DiTerlizzi, co-creator of the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles.
A Caldecott Honor winner begins a new series about a young girl forced to flee from her underground home with a treasured item — a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the word, "WondLa." Illustrations.
When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. She is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures--a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, WondLa.
In these alien surroundings, Eva Nine befriends Rovender Kitt, a curmudgeonly wanderer, with whom she travels in search of other humans. But Besteel, who invaded Eva Nine's sanctuary, is following them and wants to capture Eva Nine.
With its classic prose and breathtaking illustrations, The Search for WondLa begins a trilogy that is sure to inspire dreams. As a bonus, the maps in this book are revealed in three-dimensions, with audio, through Augmented Reality.
In his vision of a future forged by centuries of tradition, Caldecott Honor Winner Tony DiTerlizzi, co-creator of the New York Times-bestselling Spiderwick series, honors traditional children's literature in this space-age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child's wish for a place to belong.
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