A Hero for WondLa

A Hero for WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi

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Overview

The second novel in the New York Times bestselling The Search for WondLa series, from the cocreator of The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Before the end of The Search for WondLa, Eva Nine had never seen another human, but after a human boy named Hailey rescues her along with her companions, she couldn’t be happier. Eva thinks she has everything she’s ever dreamed of, especially when Hailey brings her and her friends to the colony of New Attica, where humans of all shapes and sizes live in apparent peace and harmony.

But all is not idyllic in New Attica, and Eva Nine soon realizes that something sinister is going on—and if she doesn’t stop it, it could mean the end of everything and everyone on planet Orbona.

Featuring an abundance of lavish two-color illustrations and spot art throughout and introducing a host of remarkable characters that reinforce the importance of friendship, A Hero for WondLa has all the hallmarks of a classic book—of the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416983132
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 07/09/2013
Series: The Search for WondLa , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 445
Sales rank: 193,701
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Tony DiTerlizzi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books for twenty years. From fanciful picture books, such as Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-This-World Moon-Pie Adventure and The Spider and the Fly (a Caldecott Honor Book), to fantastic middle grade novels like Kenny & the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, Tony imbues each story with his rich imagination. He created The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies around the world. You can learn more about Tony at DiTerlizzi.com.

Read an Excerpt

Hero for WondLa
CHAPTER 1: LEAVE

Eva Nine watched a turnfin flap its triple pair of wings to join its flock. The alien birds squawked in an otherworldly harmony as they soared through the eroded sun-bleached remains of buildings that had once stood as New York City.

Over the eastern horizon the morning sun was shining down on mountainous white clouds sailing slowly over the ancient ruins. Eva made her way through the twisting labyrinth of crumbled brick walls and rusted steel beams, stopping in front of a lone column blanketed in gigantic leafy lichen. She pulled her empty drinking container out of her satchel and removed the cap. Eva yanked a large corrugated leaf from the column with her hands and began to roll it up. She wrung the leaf tighter and tighter until water began to trickle from its stem.

Really? That’s it? Eva thought as the dribble of water ran to the bottom of her drinking container. This is going to take forever. I wish I’d kept my hydration tablets. She sighed and tore off another leaf.

Traveling down the bygone avenues of a withered world, Eva paused at the gaping shadowy entrance of a tunnel that led down into the earth toward the remains of a forgotten library. Her mind flickered to the memory of the giant water bear, Otto, digging that tunnel like an enormous puppy. Eva closed her eyes. Though her loyal companion was with his herd far from here, Eva knew he was relaxed and content. She had a connection with Otto. She could understand what he was thinking when it appeared no one else could. Eva could not explain how it was that she could do this. She just felt it.

She opened her eyes and took in the endless barren horizon beyond the ruins. Eva whispered, “I’m happy for you, Otto. I am going to join my herd too.” With a smile she continued on toward her camp.

Under the shade of a deteriorating steel archway, a lanky blue alien sat on backward-bending legs. The Cærulean, Rovender Kitt, appeared to be organizing the scattered contents of a saddlebag that hung from a parked gull-winged glider.

“You were right, Rovee,” Eva said, joining her friend. She shook her mostly full drinking container. “I was able to get quite a bit of water. But with only one good hand my fingers got sore from all that squeezing.”

Rovender glanced up at Eva, then continued on with his task. “Your wounds will heal soon enough.” He spoke in a soft, gravelly voice. “And do not worry about your hand. You will become stronger and it will become easier.” He unbuckled a second saddlebag and began rooting through it. “We shall have to hunt down some breakfast soon, though.”

“Food, huh? I don’t suppose you’d be interested in these at all?” Eva pulled out a voxfruit from her satchel and smiled.

Rovender stopped, a look of genuine surprise on his whiskered face. “Oeeah! Voxfruit! Out here? Well done, Eva Nine. Well done.” He held up a thick-fingered hand, and Eva tossed him a piece of fruit.

“Yup,” replied Eva. “I found them growing in some sort of underground transit station. I grabbed all I could carry.” She opened her satchel. It was stuffed full with the exotic fruit.

“That is a good discovery. Now come.” Rovender patted the ground next to where he sat. “See what I have found.”

Eva knelt down next to Rovender and poured water into his empty bottle. Then, after taking a swig from her own container, she shuddered as she glanced over the booty. Like the glider, these items had once belonged to the Dorcean huntsman, Besteel. Now the huntsman’s belongings had been sorted into little piles that were spread out over Rovender’s sleeping mat.

“I told you I think it’s weird going through all his stuff,” Eva said, returning her drinking container to her satchel. “I don’t want anything from that monster.” Besteel’s raptorial visage was still fresh in Eva’s memory. She still half-expected the huntsman to jump out of the shadows and capture her once again.

Rovender took a sip of water and nodded in agreement. He picked up a small wooden contraption with many knobs. “Yes, yes, Eva, but you never know what we may need. Like this.” He handed the gizmo to Eva.

“Uh, I give up,” she said, looking at the item without the slightest interest. “What is it?”

“It is a Variable Bird Caller. You turn the knobs to attract all sorts of birds.” Rovender turned one of the large knobs, and the familiar squawk of a turnfin was produced.

“Okay . . . but why would I call more turnfins? There are enough here already, don’t you think?” She gave the bird caller back to Rovender.

“Perhaps,” Rovender said sagely as he pocketed the item. “But then again, its use may come in handy.”

Eva wondered if there were turnfins everywhere in Orbona. “Fine. But what else of Besteel’s do we really need?”

Rovender moved his hand over the piles of odd accoutrements and opened a pouch—out of which rolled a handful of vocal transcoders. “How about these?” Rovender plucked up one of the spherical devices. “See if our new arrival would be receptive to using one. I am sure he would feel more comfortable if he could understand what I am saying.” He rolled the transcoder over to Eva.

“Okay, you’re right—as usual.” Eva rose and held up a voxfruit. “I’ll see if he’s up for trying some of the local food too.”



Through the scattered rubble of a desert plain Eva arrived at a sandy plot where a round airship rested on heavy landing gear.

In the late morning sun she could see that the ship had once been painted in a brilliant black and gold check, but years of neglect had taken their toll. As though the ship were an enormous insect shedding its skin, a corroded metal carapace was visible beneath the flaked-off patches of ancient enamel. Along the many rows of small hover-thrusters lining the ship’s body, dried grime and exhaust ran down to the patinated chrome underbelly.

Next to one of the headlights, just below the cockpit window, a name was painted in decorative lettering: Bijou. Underneath the lettering were rows of decals, each in the cutout shape of a human. As Eva counted the decals, wondering what they represented, the entry ramp hissed open from the belly of the ship. Eva caught a glimpse of her reflection in the lens of a headlight before she entered. The girl looking back at her was a dirty disheveled mess.

Wriggling about, Eva pulled and tugged her rumpled tunic in an attempt to straighten it. To further smooth it she ran her bandaged hand down the front—but all she accomplished was to smear the dust that had invaded every wrinkle of her clothing. Shifting her focus from her outfit, Eva unwrapped one of the long braids that held her hair up off of her neck. Now loose, the wad of dirty-blond hair drooped down over her shoulders. Eva combed through the mop with her thin fingers trying to style it, but the effort was fruitless. Already her neck was sweating under the thick tresses. “Ugh!” Eva said with a frustrated sigh. “Whatever.” She pulled her hair back up and wrapped it tight with a braid.

Nearing the open entry ramp that led into the ship, Eva heard the pulse of electronic music thumping from within. She stood at the foot of the ramp and called up, “Good morning, Hailey. Are you hungry? Hellooooo in there!”

The music did not pause, nor was there a response. Eva called out again. Finally she tiptoed up the ramp and peered around the cramped cargo hold of the ship. Inside, the distinct scent of motor oil greeted her. This was a scent that Eva knew from her old home, her Sanctuary, and so it was somehow reassuring to her. It was the scent of machines. Machines made for people. Machines, just like this ship, that would whisk her away to a city full of people. It felt as if, after all of the searching and running, her dream—her WondLa—had come true.

That little crumbling picture of the girl and the robot and the adult had given Eva hope that there were others like her—humans, just waiting to be found. But the lands she searched through were not like the Earth she had learned about. These lands were full of monstrous sand-snipers, bird-eating trees, and evil alien queens. Just when she had given up all hope of the existence of other humans, a ship had fallen from the sky. A ship piloted by a boy named Hailey . . .

Last night Hailey had told Eva and Rovender that he’d come to take them to the human city. He’d come to take Eva home.

Explaining that the ship would need to recharge overnight, the young pilot had offered up sleeping accommodations in the ship’s cabin. But, despite Eva’s pleas that they stay on board the ship, Rovender had preferred sleeping outdoors. Eva said she had so many questions she wanted answered, but really she was curious and excited to spend time with the first human she’d ever met in all twelve years of her life.

Hailey had had to admit that he was tired from travel and needed rest. Of course Rovender had concurred. Eva’s questions would have to wait. Back at camp she’d tried to fall asleep despite the electricity that coursed through her.

Lying next to the crackling fire, Eva had wondered how exciting the life of gallant Hailey must be as he searched for helpless humans to rescue from the wilds of Orbona. But thoughts of being rescued were soon interrupted by memories of Muthr.

Muthr.

For all of Eva’s life her only caretaker had been Multi-Utility Task Help Robot zero-six, or Muthr for short. As Eva had grown older, her yearning to explore the surface of the planet had often led to arguments with the robot. Regardless, Muthr had taken good care of her . . .

. . . even when Besteel had ransacked their underground home.

. . . even when their trusted technology had been ineffective against the dangerous new world they faced.

. . . and especially when she saved Eva’s life, although it had meant sacrificing her own.

Muthr had loved her. Eva still grieved over the robot’s passing.

“Hey there,” Hailey called out over the music, rousing Eva from her thoughts. A tanned teenage face peered down from an access hatch in the ceiling of the cargo hold at the bow of the airship. Even upside down the pilot’s shaggy brown and blue-dyed hair was stuck to his face by a thin layer of perspiration. “Hi.” He waved. “Hold on a sec. Music volume: minimum,” he said. The ship responded.

Eva made her way past the disorganized stacks of crates in the hold and stood at the bottom of the access ladder. “Good morning.” She pulled out one of her prized voxfruit. “I’ve brought you breakfast,” she said, pleased with herself.

Hailey grabbed the side rails of the ladder and slid down to the floor. He took the fruit from Eva with black greasy hands. “Thanks,” he said, turning it over and examining it. “What is it?”

“It’s voxfruit.” Eva took the fruit and ripped open the translucent rind. “You eat the berries inside.” She handed the peeled voxfruit back to Hailey. He wiped his dirty hands on his stained flight suit and then gingerly grabbed a handful of the green berries from within.

“Hmm. Oh, yeah,” he said through a mouth full of food. “These aren’t bad.”

“I also brought you this.” Eva produced the vocal transcoder. “Or do you have one of these already?”

“That depends,” said Hailey, eyeing the device. “What is it?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure how many languages you know, but I could tell last night that you couldn’t understand Cærulean. . . . You know, Rovee’s language.” Eva put the transcoder near her mouth. “So this little thingy will allow you to understand all the different languages of the aliens. You just press this button, speak into it, and inhale the micro transmitters that it releases. It will do the rest.” She dropped the device into his palm.

Hailey examined the transcoder, a look of awe on his smudged face. He caught Eva’s eye and straightened up. “Well, thanks. Thanks a lot, Ella.”

“Eva,” she corrected him, and brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “Eva Nine.”

Hailey regarded her for a moment. “Well, Eva Nine, we won’t be ready to leave until tonight. I suggest you get some REM and gather any belongings you may have. . . . Oh, and don’t forget your Omnipod.” He began to climb back up the ladder.

“My Omnipod? Do I really need it?” Eva picked at her nails.

“Yup,” said Hailey as he continued climbing. “It holds all of your Sanctuary records. It’s the only way you can be admitted as a citizen of New Attica.”

Eva followed Hailey up the ladder. She felt like she was climbing, ascending, toward some answers from her mysterious rescuer. “New Attica? Is that the name of the human city? Is it far? What planet is it on? How long will the flight take? What will we do when we get there?”

“Boy, you sure do talk a lot for a reboot. I guess it’s ’cause you don’t know much about stuff,” Hailey said with a laugh as he entered the main deck of the ship.

Somehow the tone of those words stung Eva. “Reboot? What’s a reboot?”

“You are,” Hailey replied in a matter-of-fact tone as he sat down in a floating hovchair in the galley.

Eva joined him at the small table and studied Hailey as he devoured another piece of fruit. He was somewhat slovenly when he ate, just like Rovender. Muthr would disapprove of his upbringing, Eva thought.

He continued through a mouth full of food, “You’re Sanctuary-born, right?”

Eva answered with a nod of the head, then tried to appear uninterested. She looked away from Hailey and glanced around the galley. An array of dispensers lined the low walls, each with their synthetic contents labeled: nutriment pellets, Susti-Bars, Pow-R-drink packets, and flavored hydration tablets.

Hailey finished the fruit and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “So, then, you’re a reboot.”

Eva was quiet. The way he said “reboot” bothered her, but she would not let it affect her.

“And I am a retriever,” Hailey continued proudly. “With this ship I track down newly emerged humans and take them to the great city of New Attica, ‘Where a bright and beautiful new future awaits.’ It’s a ways out west, but the flight won’t take too long.”

“How did you track me? With my Omnipod?” Eva asked. She felt ignorant, like Hailey knew everything and she knew nothing.

“No.” Hailey got up and approached her. “There’s a tracking chip inside of you.”

“Inside . . . me?” Eva replied. “I don’t think so. Muthr never told me about a—”

“No, it’s true,” said Hailey. Very gently he ran his finger up the nape of Eva’s neck. “The chip is . . . right . . . here.” He stopped at the little raised mole on the back of her neck.

“Heart rate BPM acceleration detected, Eva Nine,” the shoulder patch on Eva’s tunic announced. “Please—” Eva swatted the patch, abruptly shutting it off. Pretending she didn’t hear it, she stepped away from Hailey and entered the cockpit. “Wow,” she said. “This is where you pilot your ship?”

Behind a large domed windshield a single chair sat at an arcing dashboard. Gathered clusters of thin multicolored wires hung out from underneath the dash like the roots of an overturned tree. On the floor of the cockpit Hailey’s Omnipod displayed a floating hologram of the Bijou, labeled as an HRP Compact Transcarrier.

“Yeah, this is where I operate the ship.” Hailey leaned against the doorway. “And I can tell you, there is no feeling like it.”

Eva spun a tracking ball set in the dash. “Is it easy to fly?”

“No,” answered Hailey, gently brushing Eva’s hand away from the dash. “It may look simple, but it takes a long time to master. The controls are very delicate.”

Eva picked up the Omnipod and examined the hologram. The wiring diagram of the ship pulsed like an electronic nervous system. “Is everything okay with the Bijou?” she asked.

Hailey took the Omnipod from her. “Yes, of course. I am just doing some . . . refining.” He guided Eva back to the access ladder leading down to the cargo hold. “So, if you and your blue friend want to relax here in the ship, I’ll give you an update later today on our departure time. Just don’t forget your Omnipod.”

Eva turned back. “About that . . . You see, my Omnipod . . . It is, um . . . gone.”

Hailey raised an eyebrow. “Gone?”

“Well . . . yeah.” Eva felt oddly nervous explaining this to him. It was like she hadn’t followed some set of unspoken rules. There was nothing about losing your Omnipod on her survival tests. Though, now that she thought about it, the device did seem integral to all the exercises. She wished Muthr were here to explain things. “You see, Rovee—that’s the blue guy—and me and my Muthr were being followed—hunted, actually—by this big hairy monster, Besteel.”

Hailey crossed his arms. A slight grin drew across his stubbly face. “Go on.”

“Well . . . ” Eva didn’t want to talk about this. It was too soon. Too real. She wanted to change the subject. She wanted to leave.

“Hello?” Rovender’s voice echoed up from the hold down below. “Eva Nine?”

“I’m . . . I’m here,” she called down to him. “I’ll be down in a second.” Eva looked back at Hailey. His shaggy bangs concealed one of his deep umber eyes. She felt nervous and giddy. “I don’t have my Omnipod anymore,” she said. “I used it to kill Besteel.”

“Kill him?” the pilot said with a smile. “What, did you throw it at his head?”

Eva’s eyes narrowed. “No. I used it to lure up a sand-sniper, which ate him.” There was venom in her voice.

“Okay, reboot. Whatever you say.” Hailey dismissed Eva and opened up a supply cabinet in the main deck.

“It’s the truth! My Omnipod is lost out in the desert somewhere!” said Eva.

“Well, you better go ask that sand-sniper to give it back to you, because you’ll need it to get into the city.”

Rovender called up from the bottom of the ladder, “Eva, is everything all right?”

“I said I’m fine!” yelled Eva. “What about Rovee? He doesn’t have an Omnipod. He’s never had an Omnipod.”

“Humans need their Omnipods to register in the city.” Hailey continued rifling through the supply cabinet. “I don’t make the rules. I just bring you in.”

“Thanks a lot,” grumbled Eva, and she began to climb down.

“Hey.” Hailey stopped her. “Hold on.” He handed her a tarnished old Omnipod. “It’s an older model that I hacked, and it barely works, but it might help you find yours.”

Eva snatched the Omnipod from him and continued down the ladder.

By the time she crossed the cargo hold, the loud music had resumed. Eva stormed down the ramp and out from under the Bijou, with Rovender following close behind.

“Is there something wrong?” Rovender asked.

“I just want to get out of here.”

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"In this much-anticipated sequel to The Search for WondLa, Tony DiTerlizzi answers many of the lingering questions with futuristic world-building and confident storytelling...DiTerlizzi's masterful two-color illustrations in blue and black ramp up the tensions. The trilogy's end can't come soon enough."—Shelf Awareness

"This installment in the series is as well written as the first and will leave readers wanting to know what happens to all those fighting to save their world. With complete descriptions of scenery, creatures, flora, and cities, DiTerlizzi has created a world that is easy for readers to step into. A strong recommendation for anyone who has read the first volume and motivation for others to start the series."—School Library Journal

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for:

A Hero for WondLa
by Tony DiTerlizzi

Discussion Questions:
1. At the beginning of the book there is a quote from Carl Sagan, “The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.” Discuss what Carl Sagan’s quote means. How does this relate to A Hero for WondLa?

2. Eva Nine catches a glimpse of herself in a lens of a headlamp and sees a dirty, disheveled girl. She then tries to straighten her hair and make herself more presentable. Hailey has shaggy brown-and-blue-dyed hair that is stuck to his face with perspiration, tanned skin, and dirty hands, and he eats his voxfruit in a slovenly way. He wipes his dirty hands on his pants. These are the first impressions Hailey and Eva Nine have of each other. It has been said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” What impression does Hailey have of Eva Nine? What does Eva Nine think of Hailey? Are first impressions important? Are they correct? How heavily should one rely upon first impressions?

3. Eva Nine has a remarkable ability to communicate with many different species. Why does she have such difficulty communicating with humans, such as Hailey, Eva Eight, and Gen? How does telepathy influence Eva Nine’s life?

4.Throughout the story Eva has conflicting thoughts about Muthr. They had arguments about Eva exploring, and yet Eva was well taken care of by Muthr. The smell of motor oil on Muthr had a comforting effect on Eva. Muthr willingly sacrificed herself to save Eva. When Eva meets Eva Eight, she hears of a different Muthr than the one she knew. Discuss the differences the sisters had in their upbringing. Is it unusual for parents to raise their children in different ways?

5. Eva Nine had a tracking chip inserted underneath a mole on her body. The tracking chip enabled Hailey to locate Eva Nine, and also provided Cadmus Pryde the ability to track his citizens in New Attica. How does this tracking chip compare to microchip IDs for animals? How does this tracking chip compare to today’s cell phones with GPS and to anti-kidnapping devices implanted under the skin? Did the tracking chip do more than just locate a person?

6. Hailey referred to Eva as a “reboot.” Eva did not like the term nor the tone in which it was said. Hailey wanted to be a “retriever” as was his father. What do these terms mean? The citizens of New Attica call Vanpa and his friends “toilers.” How does the way words are used make Eva, Hailey, and Vanpa feel? Look into history for other words that are used to make people feel uncomfortable or empowered.

7. Rovender advised Eva Nine to “sometimes disregard what one is saying and focus instead on what they are doing. Watch and observe. That is when one reveals his true self.” How did this advice help Eva Nine throughout the story? Was this good advice? Why or why not?

8. How important are memories? How accurate are memories? Consider Eva’s memories of Muthr, Eva Eight’s memories of living in the sanctuary, Vanpa’s life experiences, and Rovender’s memories of his family.

9. Read the Manifesto of New Attica. It begins with the statement “Man created Tech to aid man.” Consider the meaning behind the manifesto. What is your opinion? Do you believe what the manifesto says? Does our future seem to be following the same path as New Attica’s? As you discuss the manifesto, remember Eva’s experience with technology outside the sanctuary.

10. When Eva Nine enters New Attica she is amazed at what she sees. Is there anything in New Attica you would like to see in your lifetime?

11. If life in New Attica was so perfect, why did it need to be patrolled by authoriton guards?

12. Compare Cadmus Pryde’s interpretations of the Mona Lisa to Cadmus’s own version of New Attica.

13. Discuss the pros and cons of Emote Attire, which shows one’s true feelings. Is it a good thing for everyone to know how you feel at all times? How is Emote Attire similar to mood rings?

14. In the paradise of New Attica is there any bullying? The three Gens laugh, point, and make faces concerning Paige Trundle’s appearance. Is this a form of bullying?

15. Hailey was captured by Cadmus Pryde’s authoritons and considered a corrupted specimen. According to Cadmus Pryde, a corrupted specimen of a Homo sapiens neo was an individual with a predisposition to free thought due to unmanaged neurochemicals in the brain—one who was prone to rebel authority. The individual needed to be treated before he/she was naturalized into society. How would our founding fathers react to such a definition?

16. What is friendship? One element of friendship is trust. What other elements are included in friendship? How did the friendship between Eva Nine and Rovender influence Eva in her decision to rescue Rovee against her sister’s wishes? How did friendship among humans and aliens allow for an escape from New Attica, Cadmus Pryde, and the authoritons?

17. Discuss Rovender’s opinion that “Land does not belong to anyone. We belong to the land. To Orbona. The planet must be free to breathe and grow as we breathe and grow.” Is the Wondla series a cautionary tale?

18. Eva Nine searches for a family in both books. What is a family? What expectations did Eva Eight have for a family? When Eva Nine meets Eva Eight a tension builds between them. Is this usual with siblings? Why was Eva Nine more comfortable with Rovender, an alien, than with Eva Eight, her own flesh-and-blood sister? How did Muthr fit into the definition of a family? Rovender told his father, “A child needs his parent at all times, not just when life is smiling down upon him.” How did the loss of Rovender’s partner and unborn child affect him? What happened to his family?

19. When Nadeau was returned to his village, Antiquus pushed a blade through Nadeau’s throat and an audible exhalation was heard. Antiquus said that Nadeau’s spirit was released. Was this a humane thing to do? Euthanasia is often done with beloved pets to stop their suffering. How does euthanizing an animal compare to euthanizing a human? Was it permissible to euthanize Nadeau because he was an alien or because it stopped his suffering?

20. Isolationism is a policy of remaining apart from the affairs or interests of other groups. Rovender tells his village’s council, “You think you may avoid the world by hiding up here, but eventually the world will come to you. And you may not like what you see.” How is this belief of isolationism similar to what the Amish people or the Australian Aborigines believe? Will it be possible for the Caeruleans to stay neutral against the threats from Cadmus Pryde’s vision and his robotic army?

21. One of Eva Nine’s characteristics is being compassionate not only toward her own family but also to many of the alien creatures she encountered. How did this one characteristic help or hinder Eva Nine throughout her adventures? How important was this characteristic to Eva’s personality? Mother informs Eva that compassion is an energy beyond anything she can create. If this is true, where does compassion come from?

22. According to the dictionary, a chimera is “an organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation.”

In WondLa, a chimera is a being composed of both machinery and living tissue. As Hailey and Eva escape from Cadmus’s lab, Hailey rips off the armor of an authoriton. Eva sees a pale, atrophied human arm within the armor. She asks Hailey if there was a person inside. Hailey replies it was just cloned parts. Compare and contrast a cloned robot with someone who has robotic body parts.

23. How would you describe Cadmus Pryde? Was he a visionary? Did he treat his citizens well? How did he relate to the aliens inhabiting Orbona? How did the citizens of New Attica view him? What were his good characteristics? Did he have any faults? From what we have learned of Cadmus in this story, has he changed in any way and, if so, how? Was he a good leader?

24. Is it possible for organic materials to coexist with man-made materials? For example, consider New Attica and the Wandering Forest. Is it possible for the two to exist together? Are we able to exist on earth with our man-made technology, weapons, and toxic chemicals and still provide the natural food and air quality necessary to survive? What side effects have man-made materials done to our earth? Is it possible to correct them? What can be done to solve some of our man-made problems?

25. Eva Nine had never experienced the death of a loved one. She did not have any customs to relate to when Muthr died. Did Rovender’s cultural beliefs on death help Eva Nine understand or accept the death of Muthr? If Rovender’s beliefs helped Eva Nine why did they not help Rovender?

26. Loroc informed Eva Nine that, “Cadmus is winning a battle today so that he may lose tomorrow. I will do to him as I am to do to you.” Is Cadmus an evil man? Is Loroc an evil alien? Who is the most evil of the two? What is evil? Is it possible to have good traits at the same time as having bad traits?

27. In the beginning of the book, Eva Nine was a scruffy-looking girl who had just lost her Muthr. Did Eva Nine change in any way throughout the book? Did her physical appearance change? If so, in what ways? Did she change her outlook on how to treat other people and aliens? Did her perception of herself and her abilities change? What experiences influenced any changes Eva Nine made in her life, be it physical or emotional?

Activities:

1. As Eva Nine continues her journey through life, she learns about death. She saw how Besteel killed the aliens he captured, she saw how Rovee killed turnfins for food, she witnessed Muthr’s death by Besteel, she saw the remains of an air whale and wondered how and why it died, and she questioned where one’s spirit goes when one dies. Many cultures have different ways to explain death. Rovender told Eva about the loss of his partner and child. The customs in his village did not help him with his grief. Have your students research how different cultures explain death and what customs are performed to help understand death.

2. Have your students write an essay about a futuristic civilization. They should include what technology is available, how one communicates, what diseases exist, modes of transportation, what kind of nourishment is available, and housing and attire for the inhabitants. The students can then share their visions with their classmates.

3. How accurate can a prediction be by noted soothsayers such as Nostradamus? Have your students reread Arius’s prediction and write their own prediction. They should write it in the same format as Arius’s, which will tell the tale they believe will happen in the next book.

4. In New Attica the people don’t eat food, they have food-flavored nutrition pills. Have students research the advantages and disadvantages of getting nutrition only through pills or freeze-dried foods, such as the foods astronauts eat. Which food is healthier, the pills or the real food? Allow the students to sample different freeze-dried foods.

5. Have your students research biomechatronics—the science of using mechanical devices with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control. Then the students can share their findings with one another. Does this field of science sound similar to what Cadmus Pryde did in New Attica?

6. Have your students experiment growing plants under different conditions. Let the students choose what kind of experiments to try. There could be one experiment using fertile soil, natural sun, and proper watering. Another experiment could have artificial light, fertile soil, and proper watering. Another experiment could have fertile soil and natural light but less water. One experiment could use polluted water with the fertile soil and natural light. Let the students chart the results and compare the different effects on the plants to see what makes the best growing conditions. Is there a difference between using artificial light and sunlight in the plants?

Reading Group Guide written by Lynn Dobson

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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