Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

75667314Lynn: Our focus group are total graphic novel fans.  Thank you publishers for giving us more and more wonderful graphic novels for younger readers!  Zita the Spacegirl (First Second 2010) was a huge hit with the boys and it took me a while to get it away from them to read myself.  (Cindy was a distant fourth in line with this one)  Hatke injects readers immediately into action and aliens when two children discover a recent meteoroid crater.  At the bottom lies a strange object with a red button which, of course, they instantly push.  When her friend is grabbed by a strange tentacled being, Zita bravely pushes the button again and finds herself in a multi-species world in crisis.  An in-coming asteroid is about to wipe out life and Zita’s friend has been abducted for a horrible purpose!  Zita sets off to rescue Joseph aided by an appealing if motley band of allies that include a giant mouse, various robots and a lumpy alien.  The high energy story is told in relatively simple text and terrific illustrations arranged in easy to follow panels.  The whole package is enticing and beautifully designed both for newly independent readers AND readers new to graphic novels.  There is plenty of humor and the personalities of the characters positively jump off the pages. Our favorite?  H.A.M.B.O – a heavily armored mobile battle orb who prefers to be called One because his acronym is so undignified.  We can’t wait for more installments!

Cindy: I think I need to have a chat with our focus group to set them straight about rank and file…I’ve been relegated to FOURTH in line to see the new books? Hmmpf! I’m going to get Strong Strong, the clumsy oversized alien of Hatke’s imagination to back me on this! Zita was certainly worth the wait, though. The back story behind the creation of this FIRST graphic novel for Hatke is fascinating. You’ll want to read the interview, watch the trailer, and even read some of the book over at MTV Geek. What are you waiting for?

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

3 Comments on "Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke"

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  1. Oh I loved Zita too! I love full color graphic novels and this one had a bit of Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and even Gregor the Overlander so I was sold. I can’t wait for more from Zita and it’s on my booktalk list for sure this year!:)

  2. chernand@chesapeake.lib.va.us' Christine says:

    I thought Zita was great! I’ve started getting it into the hands of girls at checkouts and am waiting for the boys to catch on. I have found it is great for parents to read aloud to first graders also (Ask my goddaughter who looked at it on her own and then begged to have it read to her – more than once!)

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