Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

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Overview

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 ...

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Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kristin Fletcher-Spear
The second graphic novel in the Zita the Spacegirl series is a step above the original. In this story, Zita is traveling the universe to return to Earth and is a hero with personal appearances, fans, and celebrity. When a robot takes on her appearance, she lets it play her at an appearance so she can escape and see the town. But the robot accepts a job to save another planet from doom, takes over Zita's life, and kicks her off the spaceship. Stranded with only her friend Mouse to assist, Zita becomes a wanted criminal and strikes off on another adventure to stop the robot and meet up with her friends once more. The full-color artwork is more polished in this second graphic novel than in the previous. The new characters are just as imaginatively drawn as the recurring ones. The colorists use muted tones, primarily leaving bold tones to stand out in certain scenes. We learn a little more about the side characters' pasts, but not enough of Zita to allow her to be more than a standard grrl power character. While one can still enjoy the adventure without having read the first volume, readers who have read volume one will get more out of this book. Give this graphic novel to a reader not quite ready for Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series. Reviewer: Kristin Fletcher-Spear
Children's Literature - Raina Sedore
Zita's adventures continue! In this continuation of the exploits begun in Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl, Zita is now famous in the galaxy as a hero. With that fame comes responsibility and expectations. She must rescue entire planets! She must deal with paparazzi! She must battle robots which have taken over her identity! This volume introduces several great new characters, including Madrigal, a fierce and heroic circus performer. Hatke's playful style continues to depict an imaginative world filled with a wide variety of adorable, funny and/or slightly scary creatures. Now that Zita's character and her world have been established, this second volume feels like it could be just one of many chapters of this relatable and fascinating story. Hatke uses many different page layouts and his use of color jumps off the page. Even though this is only the second book about Zita, she is already a star in the graphic novel world, and it is downright poetic to see the character dealing with the parallel struggles of stardom in the plotline of this book as well. This is one graphic novel you do not want to miss. Reviewer: Raina Sedore
Kirkus Reviews
Lovable Zita returns in a charmingly dashing interplanetary adventure to save yet another doomed planet from impending peril.After saving both a planet and her best friend, Zita has achieved renown as an intergalactic hero and is greeted with adulation wherever she travels. In the midst of her fame, a lone, archaic Imprint-o-Tron—a robot that was built for companionship but took its "imprinting" too far—spies a Zita poster and immediately takes on her likeness. The bot's mimicry is so exact that it quickly becomes difficult to tell the real Zita from the impostor. A sudden turn of events leads to the real Zita making a felonious—although necessary—decision, instantly transforming her public image from that of hero to outlaw. Faced with saving another planet, the real and fake Zitas must find a middle ground and work together, redefining what it really means to be a hero when they set out to rescue the Lumponians from the cutely named but very deadly Star Hearts, villainous parasites capable of destroying entire planets. Hatke's arrestingly vibrant art commands instant adoration of its reader. Zita's moxie is positively contagious, and her adventures are un-put-downable. Readers would be hard-pressed to not find something to like in these tales; they're a winning formula of eye-catching aesthetics, plot and creativity, adeptly executed. Imaginative and utterly bewitching. (Graphic science fiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Hatke has again conjured up a rich and satisfying story with enchanting characters and delightful humor. Lumponians are seeking Zita's help to save their planet from the dangerous invasion of star hearts that will strip a planet to its bedrock. Convinced that she is their only hope, they offer as payment the remaining jump crystal that will allow her to return home. They happen upon a robot masquerading as Zita and employ this counterfeit hero to save them. While Zita does save the Lumponians and her rivalry with robot Zita is nicely resolved, the story is obviously a setup for further adventures as she must rescue her companion mouse. Hatke's humor is in top form, including the creation of dialects with unique spellings and language that perfectly capture the each character's personality. Even robots have a language. Wordplay is omnipresent, such as names based on musical terms, and the star-hearts invasion being described as a "heart attack." Inventive sound effects such as "scootch" and "snuffle" and the gift of a "slap in a box" are among the many bon mots youngsters will savor. The characters' expressive faces are given a charm and attention to detail that will captivate readers of all ages, and the beautifully illuminated images of space inspire awe. Legends offers a parody of celebrity status and gently explores the question of notoriety versus heroism. Fans of Zita's adventures will relish this installment.—Babara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434479
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 155,169
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet 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
 
A Q&A WITH LEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL AUTHOR BEN HATKE

1.  Do you tend to think of yourself more as a writer or as an artist?

In my case, I think the two are pretty inseparable.  I work a lot on the structure of my stories and I get a lot of joy out of that, but my art is not just in the service of the story, it's very much a part of the storytelling.  I find things like characters’ body language to be a wonderful storytelling tool.  I’ve also lately been interested in projects that separate words and pictures -- illustrated novels on the one hand and wordless comics on the other.

2.  The Zita books feature some pretty strange creatures.  You must've had a strange childhood!

I’ve always been drawn to weird creatures.  Some of my early drawings are vast underground scenes full of creatures that aren’t that far removed from some of the species in the Zita books.  I was lucky in that my parents exposed me to a lot of different influences -- all kinds of books and movies.  And we spent days spent exploring rivers.  We were even active members of the Society for Creative Anachronisms!

3. Out of all that, what kinds of things influenced you the most?

When I was a very small child my older cousin took me to see The Dark Crystal at the theater.  We had to leave about halfway through the film because I was crying.  The grownups all said it must have been too scary.  I’ve seen The Dark Crystal since, but I also remember very clearly seeing those creatures on the screen for the first time.  All these years later I wonder if maybe I wasn’t just frightened, but overloaded by the the intense creativity.   I still think that they did more with those puppets than we do with CGI today.

4.  How does Legends of Zita differ from Zita the Spacegirl?

I feel like this volume lives up to the title a little better in that there are scenes that take place in SPACE.  I’m finally putting some “space” in “spacegirl.

5. Can you tell us about one of your favorite scenes or moments in this new story?

There’s a chase through the back alleys of a domed space city that culminates with the dramatic entrance of a new character.  I’m proud of that part.  There’s another moment toward the end of the book, a moment of danger for Zita, that I decided to make into a single image spread across two pages with no dialogue.  That’s the joy of comics: you can show any given moment a hundred different ways but when it works it’s a lot of fun.

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Reading Group Guide

In this sequel to Zita the Spacegirl, Zita tries to make her way home to Earth. But on her way there, she is impersonated by a robot who tries take her place and promises to save a whole planet. Meanwhile, Zita has to deal with her fluctuating public image—everyone thinks she’s either a hero or a villain—and it doesn’t help that it’s really the robot getting her in so much trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    I didn't personally read it, but anything that my 8 year old cou

    I didn't personally read it, but anything that my 8 year old couldn't put down, AND asked for his own personal copy (he checked it out from his school library), is phenomenal in my eyes!

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