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The Search for WondLa Hardcover – September 21, 2010
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From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
More About the Author
New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, has been creating books for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like "Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure", "Ted" and "The Spider & The Fly" (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like "Kenny and The Dragon" and the WondLa trilogy, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination.
With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries.
In 2014, he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is wonderful. My daughter and I read it aloud together. She was hooked and we purchased the other two books in the series. This book is appropriate for all ages. Read morePublished 18 days ago by AuCab
I devoured this book in two days. If it wasn't for life's busy-ness I would have finished it in one. The story was a light hearted read with action and adventure. Read morePublished 2 months ago by DeShea
It could be a children's book, but for me it was a page turner. I immensely liked to delve into this world and learn about all the wondrous species, tools and characters.Published 5 months ago by Andy Z.
its good so far I met the author and he is really a nice person.Published 7 months ago by Michelle A. Stutzman
An epic science fiction tale.... An absolute rarity in that it is written for children. My 2nd grade daughter (an advanced reader) is normally fixated on dragons and fairies. Read morePublished 8 months ago by ebeowulf
Although listed as "middle-years," this story touches on deeper and more meaningful themes than most young adult and adult novels. Read morePublished 9 months ago by coheleth
Pre-read the books before giving them to my daughters to read. Very imaginative and different from most of the books out there for children. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tom Bujas
This book was amazing! I loved it I can't wait to read the second one!!!! Well, And the third one also.....Published 10 months ago by S. Cato