Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zita the Spacegirl

Zita the Spacegirl is a rollicking science fiction adventure graphic novel for kids featuring the courageous Zita.  She and her best friend, a boy named Joseph, discover a mysterious artifact that has fallen from the sky.  When Zita pushes the button, ignoring Joseph's protests, a sort of portal into another dimension opens, and enormous tentacles shoot out, grabbing hold of Joseph and pulling him through.  The portal closes, leaving Zita standing alone on the hillside, terrified and desperate to do something to get Joseph back. 

She activates the device again, jumping through the portal herself, and sets off through an alien world on her quest to bring Joseph home.  On her way she meets all kinds of beings, some frightening, some helpful, and she learns that the planet she has come to is about to be struck by an asteroid.  If she doesn't find Joseph soon, they will both be destroyed along with the planet.

What a delightful book this is!  Zita is a likeable character, resourceful and brave, and readers will be sure to identify with her desire to recover her friend despite the odds that are stacked against her.  There are scary robots, giant, friendly rodents, and twists and turns galore.  

The full-color artwork is an excellent accompaniment to the text, and the style compliments the action-packed story perfectly, giving the story that sense of wonder that all the best science fiction embodies.  My 10- and 12-year-old girls both snapped this one up before I could get to it, and they loved it as much as I did.  And although the protagonist is a girl, boys who give this one a chance are sure to find a lot to enjoy, too.  I am so pleased this is just the first book in a series, and my daughters and I will be waiting impatiently for the next installment in Zita's otherworldly adventures.

Zita the Spacegirl, Book One: Far from Home by Ben Hatke (First Second, 2010)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home again! And here's a travel quiz for you...

Just for fun.  And no cheating, those of you who already know where we went.  I thought it might be fun to offer up a little travel quiz.  I'll give you two photos of each destination from our Mediterranean Cruise, and the first person to guess them all wins!  Wins what, you ask?  Absolutely nothing.  Just the satisfaction of being a super travel sleuth.

So, here goes...

Destination #1:

Destination #2:

Destination #3:

Destination #4:

 (Hint: This building was once a library!)

Destination #5:

Destination #6:

As you can see, we had an amazing trip.  It is nice to be home, though!