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Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl Series) Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Zita the Spacegirl Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–5—While exploring a meteoroid crater, young explorers Zita and Joseph discover an unusual device featuring a conspicuous red button. Zita's curiosity compels her to press it, only to discover that it summons an alien creature that instantly abducts Joseph. The fearless heroine follows him to a planet inhabited by Scriptorians, who intend to use him as a ritual sacrifice to prevent the destruction of their planet. In her quest to save her friend, Zita assembles a cadre of unusual cohorts: a giant mouse that she rides; an oversize bloblike creature named Strong Strong; a Heavily Armored Mobile Battle Orb known as One; and Robot Randy. Together they head off to the Scriptorians' castle to rescue Joseph. Along the way, she meets Piper, a fellow earthling traveling through space who becomes an important player in the story. Aptly named, he is part Pied Piper and part inventor but always a smooth talker who alternately assists and sabotages the mission. In order to save her friend, Zita must ultimately risk her own chance to return to Earth. With echoes of The Wizard of Oz, this charming, well-told story has a timeless "read to me" quality that makes it perfect for one-on-one sharing. Adults will enjoy the subtle humor and inside jokes, and children will love intrepid Zita and her adventures. The art is simply delightful: a realistic heroine surrounded by a world of bizarre creatures. Fans of the Flight anthologies (Villard) will cheer for the return of Zita.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

For no reason at all, a little red button crashes to earth while Zita and her pal Joseph are out cavorting around. Of course, no one could resist pushing a mystery button, which pops open an interdimensional portal that whisks Joseph away. Zita follows and lands on a delightfully bizarre alien planet, where she sees Joseph being captured by a tentacled, scuba-headed creature. She makes some allies, takes off after him, and zany mishaps and dashing adventures ensue. Any story in which one can escape prison with a tube of “doorpaste” (just like toothpaste, except that it makes magic doors appear when smeared on a wall) obviously puts more stock in wowing imaginations than satisfying logic, and it needs solid cartooning chops to back it up. Fortunately, Hatke’s got them, and he doles out an increasingly loony and charming array of aliens, robots, and unclassifiable blobs and hairy things for Zita (herself a cross between Ramona Quimby and a Matt Phelan waif) to encounter. It’s fun, plenty funny, and more than a little random. Kids will love it. Grades 3-6. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: GN310L (What's this?)
  • Series: Zita the Spacegirl Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781596434462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434462
  • ASIN: 1596434465
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I run a bookgroup for kids between the ages of 9-13. Like a number of American children in the 21st century, these kids have an overwhelming palate for good graphic novels. I can hand them "Robot Dreams" or "Ghostopolis" or "Rapunzel's Revenge", it doesn't matter. Whatever the title, they devour these books in less than an hour and come hounding me for more. The market simply doesn't exist to satiate their perpetual GN hunger. In fact, far fewer really worthwhile comics for kids come out than you might expect. For every "The Secret Science Alliance" there are twenty cheapo faux mangas ready to clutter up my library's shelves. Fortunately, if you look in the right places you're bound to find something new and interesting. Now there is nothing seemingly original about some of the aspects of "Zita the Spacegirl". The storyline is familiar, the characters give you a sense of déjà vu, and the art feels very Matt Phelan/Raina Telgemeier-esque. That said, what author/artist Ben Hatke does well is dip into a wellspring of familiar ideas to bring us a new world that truly is its own beast. "Zita" earns her stripes. Good thing too, since your kids will undoubtedly be clamoring for more of her adventures when they get their sticky paws on this first.

Here are some basic rules governing meteoroids.
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Format: Paperback
We had to get two copies of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke because the kids love reading it so much that taking turns wasn't working well. My non-reader enjoys just the art and the older two have increased their reading confidence and ability through Zita and other graphic novels (such as TinTin).

They are intrigued by the characters and captivated by the story line -- the book has been a great hit.

We've pre-ordered the second book in the series, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl and they are all looking forward to its release.
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Format: Paperback
I have loved comic books since the age of three. I still remember my first comic, an issue of World’s Finest featuring Batman and Superman. I still love comic books, but unfortunately have trouble finding appropriate ones to share with my six-year-old daughter. You see, even though I’m now thirty-seven, most Batman and Superman comic books are still written for me. Furthermore, the all-ages comic books released by Marvel and DC tend to be one slugfest after another. I’m not interested in my daughter reading that sort of thing.

A few weeks back, I started hearing good things about a graphic novel series called Zita the Spacegirl. My daughter and I love making up space stories, so we headed to the local library and checked out the first volume. My daughter immediately loved it.
I read it to her to double-check its appropriateness, and I’m pleased to say it’s a perfect match for what my daughter wants and for what I require. I won’t lie, I love the character as well. In fact, after we returned that first volume to the library, we bought all three volumes for her birthday.

I love Zita the Spacegirl because while it’s appropriate for a six-year-old, it’s also full of action and real science fiction. There are aliens, spaceships, robots, and explosions. But there’s also a lot of positive messages in it as well, such as loyalty, doing the right thing, facing your fear, and self-reliance.

Hatke’s art, by the way, is top-notch. Yes, it’s purposefully cartoonish, but I challenge you to find a more diverse and interesting collection of robots and aliens in any comic book. Furthermore, his sequential storytelling is perfect. My daughter has no trouble following the progression because of Hatke’s smooth transitions from panel to panel.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this graphic novel for my then 7 year old imaginative girl. This book is perfect for children with incredibly active imaginations. She was unable to put this book down. Read book over and over and over again. Still asks when the next book is coming out and frankly, so do I.
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Format: Paperback
I heard about Zita the Spacegirl through a friend's blog, and even though I'm not a big comics person I decided to check it out. I'm so glad I did! This book is a joy of a ride--with a spunky character you totally root for (and who has depths to her that so many characters in this genre unfortunately don't have); a gang of pals, each one unique and funny and intriguing (a giant mouse with a mysterious past, for example); a plot that keeps you turning the pages without even noticing you're turning them...

The art is brilliant and brilliantly colorful, with terrific world-building and new details you find even on, say, the third read. This is a comic for both boys and girls, and adults too. No wonder it's gotten such good reviews in the press/blogs/Goodreads/MTV.com, etc. I can't wait for the sequel! Seriously, check this one out.
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