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The Search for WondLa Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Search for WondLa (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416983104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416983101
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: Tony DiTerlizzi's fantastically imaginative new middle grade novel, The Search for WondLa, combines old-fashioned storytelling with a highly original twist. Eva Nine is a curious and sensitive 12-year old, who has existed only in a subterranean home called Sanctuary, cared for by a robot named Muthr. Eva's great desire is to go aboveground, and her wish comes true, though not as she had imagined. On the surface, Eva goes in search of other humans--she has never met one--and soon meets both friend and foe. DiTerlizzi’s gorgeous black and white illustrations enhance the cinematic quality of his writing, and the book includes augmented reality maps where readers can follow Eva and her friends's travels in 3D. A surprising conclusion to this action-packed story of friendship and belonging will leave readers clamoring for more. --Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–Twelve-year-old Eva Nine is being raised by Muthr, a pale blue robot who is loving and maternal (she speaks in the sweet, unflappable tones of a 1950s sit-com mom), in an underground home on the planet Orbona. When a marauder destroys her home, she leaves Sanctuary in a quest to find other humans like herself. Aboveground she finds a fantastic and frightening world populated by malevolent wandering trees, a giant beast who is pursuing her, nasty sand-snipers, and more. With the aid of Rovender, a lanky blue creature with backward-bending knees, and Otto, a giant water bear with whom she can communicate telepathically, Eva faces many dangers, including capture by a taxidermist who wants to skin her in order to create a living fossil for display. This first book in the series concludes with her arrival at her destination in the ancient city of ruins. The abundant illustrations, drawn in a flat, two-tone style, are lush and enhance readers' understanding of this unique universe. In addition, augmented reality is used in three places. By holding up the page from the book to a webcam, an interactive map appears on the screen. Readers can watch as the landscape where Eva Nine is traveling unfolds. 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. Yet, beneath this impressive package lies a theme readers will easily relate to: the need to belong, to connect, to figure out one's place in the world. The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

More About the Author

THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF TONY DITERLIZZI

Dragons, space monsters, goblins and insects: the characters that inhabit storyteller Tony DiTerlizzi's world haven't changed since he was a kid growing up in South Florida.

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1969, DiTerlizzi is the oldest of three siblings raised in an artistically rich household. He started drawing at a very young age including a crayon mural of Winnie-the-Pooh on his freshly painted bedroom walls.

One of his first hand-made books was on his favorite subject; dinosaurs, and was done for a Boy Scout merit badge. Fascinated by nature's endless designs, Tony made another book, this time on insects, carefully drawn from his own collection.

In 1981, after seeing Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal" and playing Dungeons & Dragons, the 12 year-old Tony spent the summer writing and illustrating an entire field guide on fantastic creatures. He would return to this premise many years later as the genesis for "The Spiderwick Chronicles".

By the time he graduated high school, DiTerlizzi had dreams of becoming a children's book creator. He attended several art schools including, Florida School of the Arts and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, receiving his degree in graphic design in 1992.

After graduating, the 23 year-old DiTerlizzi began working freelance for TSR, publisher of Dungeons & Dragons - the game that had inspired him so much as a child. He illustrated many fantastical images of warriors, wizards and monsters over the next 6 years, and also contributed to the collectible card game Magic the Gathering.

A move to New York City in 1996 brought Tony to the center of the publishing world. At last, his dream of writing and illustrating outstanding imaginative books for children could be realized. And he did it at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

In 2000, his first picture book, "Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure" debuted. Inspired by Windsor McKay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" and Norman Rockwell, the story of a young space adventurer in search of his favorite snack garnered positive reviews. Kirkus compared Tony's work to that of David Wiesner and William Joyce. More importantly, children loved the book.

The next year, he followed up with "Ted", the story of a workaholic single parent trying to find time for his son and his mischievous imaginary friend. Once again, the book was well received, and it won several state awards including the University of Chicago's Zena Sutherland Book Award.

His third picture book, "The Spider and The Fly", was based on Mary Howitt's famous 1829 poem. Here, DiTerlizzi exhibited his love of insects and arachnids as he rendered Chaz Addams-esque paintings of the intrepid spider and the guileless fly. The result was a critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller. It won a Caldecott Honor, an award for high artistic achievement in children's publishing, in 2003. Tony's career as a creator of children's books was on its way.

During a magazine interview on his work for Dungeons & Dragons, DiTerlizzi met up-and-coming writer Holly Black. A fellow fantasy and folklore lover, the two became fast friends and Tony showed her sketches he was working on for a field guide to fantastic creatures. Black began helping him, and the two created the chapter book series "The Spiderwick Chronicles".

Spiderwick followed the adventures of three New England children who unearth an old John James Audubon-styled field guide to fairies, trolls and goblins. No sooner do they find the tome, they then discover that all of its subjects are real and want the guide. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" were loved by children and adults alike, and was published in over 30 countries, selling over 7 million copies in the US alone.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies released a live action adaptation of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" in 2008 starring Freddie Highmore, Mary Louise-Parker and Nick Nolte. The film was well received by critics and the public, remaining in the top 3 at the box office for a number of weeks.

In 2006, Tony took a break from Spiderwick, returning to the picture book format with his nonsense alphabet book, "G is For One Gzonk!" Next, he and Holly continued the Spiderwick saga in the new series, "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles". The latest Spiderwick story arc followed a new set of kids dealing with giants, mermaids and nixies in the hot, humid tropics of South Florida.

DiTerlizzi's passion for crafting more chapter books for young imaginations continued with 2008's "Kenny and The Dragon". Inspired by "The Reluctant Dragon", it tells the story of a young, bookish rabbit who becomes friends with a happy-go-lucky drake. As the two become best friends, the king orders the town dragon-slayer to execute the beast - and it is up to the rabbit, Kenny, to stop him. The book became a New York Times bestseller the week of its release and was nominated for several state book awards.

He followed Kenny by teaming up with his wife, Angela, on a silly series of young picture books, "Adventure of Meno". Meno, the space elf, and his best friend (a jellyfish named Yamagoo) do not speak in correct grammar and go on ridiculous adventures where they are visited by a variety of guests such as David Hasselhoff and Eddie Vedder.

"Ang and I wanted to create a very young book that made you laugh." Tony explained. "There are plenty of soft and cute books for toddlers, but we wanted one that caused laughter with both the parent and the child, forging a love of fun books from the onset."

2010 marked a decade of creating books for children for Tony. "This is what I have always dreamed of doing," he says. "I keep waiting for my mom to wake me up and it has all just been one middle school-aged escapist dream."

DiTerlizzi celebrated by returning to aliens and spaceships with his futuristic fairy tale, "The Search for WondLa". The story follows a 12-year old girl, Eva Nine, who is raised underground by a robot. Eva discovers that she is the only human alive on an alien planet and begins searching for others like her. The illustrated novel debuted as a New York Times best-seller and was featured on the Today show. Once again, Tony is teaming up with Paramount Pictures to bring "The Search for WondLa" to the screen. A live-action feature film is already in development.

Tony works with his wife, Angela, and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with their daughter.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The stories themselves are full of action, adventure, and mystery.
Dorine White
I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves light scifi/fantasy and is either a young reader or, like me, enjoys reading these kind of books.
Funaek
Every character serves a purpose in the story-line of this book and each one is well developed.
BAS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By E. Ambrose on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
So I picked up a copy of The Search for WondLa, mostly because I wanted a nice light little read and the cover reminded me very strongly of the originals of L. Frank Baum's books.

I am quite happy to say that the prose was strongly reminiscent of the Oz books as well. The story centers on Eva Nine as she is raised in isolation by a robot named Muthr (multi utility task help robot). When her life is upended by an alien hunter, strange adventures ensue, mostly centering around trying to find other humans and/or avoiding Besteel the alien hunter. After getting turned out of her home, the Sanctuary, they go looking for other humans in an alien world full of trees that look and act like anemones and water bear creatures that have a limited telepathy with humans.

The science involved is as soft as silken tofu, but since it isn't the main focus of the narrative (outside of a means to describe the setting) it didn't bother me.The primary focus is on Eva, Muthr and the first alien they meet, Rovender Kitts, and how they interact with each other. The difference in parenting style between Rovender and Muthr is especially noticeable, with the one advocating experimentation and exploration while the other one does most of the cautioning. It makes for an interesting subtext and one can see how Eva uses both learned traits to get herself out of trouble and elude capture.

It has the wide eyed wonder of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz coupled with the bleak and lonely setting of the opening scenes in Wall-E, especially during the beginning. It never truly loses that sense of wonderment no matter what trials Eva and company face although serious tragedy and tough dicisions are treated with the gravity that they should be.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on September 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twelve-year-old Eva Nine has spent her entire life living in Sanctuary, an underground compound where she is cared for by the motherly robot, Muthr (Multi-Utility Task Help Robot). She's never met another human nor visited the surface and she longs to do both, dreaming of a world - and of the companionship and love to be found there - that she's only seen glimpses of on scraps of paper. When Sanctuary is attacked, Eva is forced to escape to the surface alone, where she soon finds that the reality of life there is more amazing and puzzling than she ever imagined. It is also far more dangerous.

We share Eva's wonder and astonishment as she views the night sky for the first time and understand her fear when she first feels the heat of the sun on her skin and panics, thinking it will burn her. And it is those two things - wonder and fear - that drive much of the story. Eva is smart and brave, caring, curious and resourceful, but she is also young and inexperienced. The controlled amounts of knowledge that have been passed down to her prove to be woefully inadequate as well as either inaccurate or deliberately false (or perhaps a mixture of the two). It seems that everything Eva sees and experiences just leave her (and us) with more questions. Author Tony DiTerlizzi has done a very good job of allowing readers to share Eva's confusion and to be in on each discovery right along with her.

Because I found Eva so likeable and engagingly real, I really cared about her and wanted to share her journey as she sought to discover just who, what and where she is. Though I found the writing just a bit clunky at times and occasionally wished for the pace to pick up (possibly because I really, REALLY wanted to know what was going to happen!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Booth on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was on the lookout for a book which we could read together as a family and happened upon "The Search for WondLa" in the store. The summary on the book jacket looked interesting and the illustrations looked like they would grab the kids' attention. I was not disappointed on either of these points. Each day, we would read a chapter or two together and would get more and more wrapped-up in the story to the point that nobody could wait until it was "WandLa" time each day! The ending was emotional and satisfying (even my 9 year-old son was in tears) while making us anxious for the continuation.

In all, the author has done a fantastic job of creating a tale that is simultaneously enjoyable to a 5 year-old, a 9 year-old, and two grown adults.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lady_of_mercia on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A fine, highly imaginative story for, I estimate, 4th grade and up. The characters are interesting and varied, and the setting is lots of fun to wander around in, too. There is some similarity to the Oz books.

My only criticisms would be, first, faulty copyediting -- for instance, the past tense of "spit" is not "spit" (and you'd be surprised how much spitting goes on in the story; there were at least four instances, and all of them were wrong). As someone who learned how to write by emulating my childhood reading, this was painful to me. There were also sentence fragments that were not intentional.

And, second, I wish the author was a little more ... what's the best word? ... sensitive to word-craft. Too many times, in having a character react, he has them sneer. Really, how many times can characters sneer in one story? This is particularly jarring in the case of the "pure in spirit" heroine. I'm not sure I could pull off a sneer, and I've been out in the rough and tumble world a lot longer than Eva. This may be quibbling for most readers.

I have to add how marvelous and entrancing the art is ... I lingered over each drawing, and went back to look again after reading the book, examining the creatures, expressions, and wonderful imagination and detail in each one. Great art work is what really makes a book stand out. I absolutely loved the art.
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