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The Search for WondLa (Search for WondLa Series #1)
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The Search for WondLa (Search for WondLa Series #1)

4.6 154
by Tony DiTerlizzi
 

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Now in paperback, Tony DiTerlizzi’s New York Times bestselling, richly illustrated modern classic.

When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her: She knows that other humans exist

Overview

Now in paperback, Tony DiTerlizzi’s New York Times bestselling, richly illustrated modern classic.

When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her: She knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.”

Breathtaking two-color illustrations throughout display another dimension of the tale, and readers with webcams can also view Augmented Reality that reveals additional information about Eva Nine’s world. Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children’s literature in this totally original space-age adventure—one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child’s wish for a place to belong.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spiderwick Chronicles coauthor DiTerlizzi introduces 12-year-old Eva Nine, who lives centuries in the future and is trying to discover whether she is the last human being on an alien world, in this series launch. After a hunter forces her out of Sanctuary--where she's been raised by a robot, Muthr--she finds a hostile world like nothing she has learned about or trained for. She makes friends, including a wanderer named Rovender and a telepathic "water horse" she calls Otto, but also finds unexpected enemies. While there is less imaginative variety than in the Spiderwick books, and the world does not seem as fully envisioned, there is still wonder aplenty in this tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, plus twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone–styled stories. The bond between Eva and her friends is well drawn, and Otto, happily, is more than just a human in alien form. DiTerlizzi's evocative, detailed pen illustrations (not all seen by PW), which have a retro Star Wars vibe, and interactive maps online, unlocked via Augmented Reality, contribute to a sense of adventure as Eva dives into the unknown. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“I was knocked out by Tony DiTerlizzi's novel... everything is described so thoroughly and fully that I felt like I was there. I think Tony's extraordinary visual sense comes though here with words. Spiderwick was amazing; this goes so much further.”-- Joan Kindig, Associate Professor at James Madison University

* "The abundant illustrations, drawn in a flat, two-tone style, are lush and enhance readers’ understanding of this unique universe...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.”--School Library Journal, starred review

"There is...wonder aplenty in this tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, plus twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone–styled stories. The bond between Eva and her friends is well drawn, and Otto, happily, is more than just a human in alien form. DiTerlizzi's evocative, detailed pen illustrations, which have a retro Star Wars vibe, and interactive maps online, unlocked via Augmented Reality, contribute to a sense of adventure as Eva dives into the unknown."--Publisher's Weekly

"Imaginative, accessible technologies combine with fanciful creatures to create perpetual wonder in this fast-moving narrative."--BCCB

"Reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke."--New York Times Book Review

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
Kirkus Reviews
What's the difference between an absorbing adventure and a disappointing effort? Since it's in the mind of the reader, some may welcome DiTerlizzi's latest with open arms. Others will be frustrated that awkward word choices, inconsistent voice, lengthy descriptions and a heavy-handed environmental agenda obscure the author's usually inventive imagination and squander the appeal of the frankly beautiful, carefully designed illustrations. All of the elements for a fascinating tale are here: the solitary child, Eva Nine, apparently the only human in the world; trusty companions (Eva's robot Muthr, Rovender Kitt, an alien blue creature who is utterly charming but decidedly adult in his concerns and back story, and Otto, an animal who communicates telepathically with Eva); a quest (to search for other signs of human life and discover the meaning of a mysterious scrap of paper); and, of course, a brutish villain, Besteel, who threatens them all with capture and death. Unfortunately, while the sprawling plot offers plenty of action, stilted language distances readers, the final reveal is utterly clichéd and the shameless cliffhanger is more likely to exasperate than entice. (Science fiction. 10-14)
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
All of her life, twelve-year-old Eva Nine has lived in an underground sanctuary, protected by her robotic parent Muthr (Multi-Utility-Task-Help-Robot) and educated about the unseen surface world by her seemingly all-knowing Omnipod. Although her caretakers tell her she is the only human they know, Eva finds a mysterious clue—a crumbling picture of a girl, a robot, and a man beneath the mysterious word "WondLa"—that gives her hope that she may one day search the surface for others like herself. Unfortunately, that day comes in an unexpectedly violent way when the huntsman Besteel destroys Eva's sanctuary in an attempt to capture her. Fleeing to the surface, Eva is shocked to discover she has been living under an alien world full of giant insects and walking trees that defy anything she was ever taught about Earth. With the help of her Omnipod and her resourcefulness, Eva finds new friends in the blue-skinned wanderer Rovender and giant water bear Otto who tell her she is on a planet known as Orbana. Still hoping to find other humans, Eva, Muthr, and their companions venture into the dangerous and unknown parts of Orbana. But Besteel is still in pursuit, and soon Eva learns about the awe and heartbreak that comes from leaving the safety of home and pursuing a dream. Strongly inspired by fairy tales such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Search for WondLa will keep its readers guessing until the end about the secret of Orbana and the bittersweet truth behind Eva's WondLa. Actress Terri Hatcher's audio book reading is filled with wonderful character voices, including a spot-on performance of Eva's infuriatingly calm yet loveable Muthr, as well as entertaining portrayals of many alien characters (particularly a whiny alien taxidermist who wants to skin Eva). Hatcher's Eva voice, on the other hand, often sounds too young for a twelve-year-old—although the exchanges between Eva and her surrogate family retain the charm and poignancy of the printed book. Readers who experience the story only though the audio book will also be denied DiTerrlizzi's illustrations of Eva's adventures and will want to check out a hard copy for the amazing artwork (however, like the book, the audio book CDs contain symbols that let readers with webcams access a three-dimensional map of Eva's journey on their computers). Nevertheless, for readers who enjoy good oral storytelling, the audio book version of The Search for WondLa offers both an excellent reading and an evocative science fantasy tale that is just the beginning in a planned trilogy of WondLa books. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416983101
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
09/21/2010
Series:
Search for WondLa Series , #1
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
330,380
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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The Search for Wondla

Meet the Author

Tony DiTerlizzi is the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling series The Spiderwick Chronicles. He also illustrated the Caldecott Honor Book The Spider and the Fly and wrote and illlustrated Kenny & the Dragon. He lives with his family in Western Massachusetts. Visit him at DiTerlizzi.com.

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