Synopses & Reviews
Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure. Zita is determined to find her way home to earth, following the events of the first book. But things are never simple, and certainly never easy, in space. Zita's exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she's about to find out that fame doesn't come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you've got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc . . . while wearing your face? Still, if anyone can find their way through this intractible mess of mistaken identity and alien invaders, it's the indomitable Zita, in Legends of Zita the Spacegirl. Legends of Zita the Spacegirl is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012.
About the Author
Ben Hatke's first graphic novel was Zita the Spacegirl. He has published comics stories in the Flight series as well as Flight Explorer. In addition to writing and drawing comics, he also paints in the naturalist tradition and, occasionally, performs one-man fire shows. Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. His work can be seen online at www.benhatke.com
Reading Group Guide
Legends of Zita is a graphic novel, a story told in words and pictures. How do you think this story would be told differently if it were just pictures or just words?
Zita is not very comfortable with her fame, preferring to sneak off with Mouse instead of signing autographs. She also thinks she is getting too much credit for her success. How would you react if you were thrust into the limelight? What if you were not sure you belonged there?
Zitas public image is either strongly positive or strongly negative, but either way, it is out of her control. The news declares her a public enemy shortly after she has been hailed as a hero. What do you think of the way the media acts? How does it compare with our own media?
Zita seems to make loyal friends easily, even ones she cant talk to. What is it about the way she treats people (and aliens and robots) that creates such strong friendships so quickly?
There are a lot of characters in this book, and Zita must decide quickly who to trust. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it backfires. How do you decide who to trust? What do you do if your trust is betrayed?
The author of Legends of Zita literally creates a universe through images and words. What do you think of the world he created? What felt similar or different than our world? What made this one relatable?
The Imprint-O-Tron that impersonates Zita is a fan, an enemy, and an ally at different times in the story. How would you deal with such a volatile character?
Piper and Madrigal used to be romantically involved, and they still have complicated feelings for one another. Are there people you used to be close to that you feel differently about now? What is it like when you cross paths?
Although she is far from home, Zita does not act very homesick, besides one dream of Earth. How is Zita able to make the best of her situation? How would you feel if you were in her place?
The idea of a “true hero” features prominently in the story: Zita denies that she is a hero, the Imprint-O-Tron wants to be a hero, and the giant equates heroism with self-sacrifice. What do you think defines a “true hero?”