Monday, January 17, 2011


I absolutely loved THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA and can't wait to see what Tony DiTerlizzi is going to do with the rest of the series, but . . .

The Search for WondLa

 . . . it isn't so much a fairy tale as it is science fiction. The jacket copy reads: "Inspired by stories by the likes of the Brothers Grimm, James M. Barrie, and L. Frank Baum, The Search for WondLa is a new fairy tale for the twenty-first century." It wasn't what I expected a fairy tale (from the fellow behind THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES) to be, but I thought maybe I was missing something. I asked my daughter if she thought it was a fairy tale, and she laughed and said "No, it's science fiction." The main character, Eva Nine, does go on a quest (to find the other humans), and I can see the argument for it being a fairy tale, but really, it's fantastic science fiction.

The story is set so far into the future that I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to the year. The technology and the creatures are both exciting and a little scary. The main characters have a great combination of love and tension, their trust in each other evolving over the course of the novel. And Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations throughout the book are gorgeous.

If you're interested, there's also an interactive website at that will show you what the book is like better than anything I've written here.

I rarely find science fiction in the children's section that inspires any kind of excitement in me. There are all kinds of great (and not so great) science fiction novels for adults and teenagers, but not so many for children. Do you think publishers are hesitant to call a children's book "science fiction" because they don't think readers will pick it up?

In spite of the jacket copy discrepancy, I wouldn't hesitate to highly recommend the book. I'll probably read it out loud to my younger kiddos.

Has anyone else read it?

If you'd like to read more Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays, Shannon Whitney Messenger (our founding mother) has the links.


  1. I heard DiTerlizzi speak at the Miami Book Fair and afterward I added his book to my wish list. It looks interesting.

  2. I love DiTerlizzi's art (he was the main art guy for D&D's Planescape setting, so I saw a LOT of his stuff when I worked on Planescape: Torment). That cover looks awesome. I'll have to check this out.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I've seen it at the library and wondered if I should read it. Sounds like I should.

  4. I have been wanting to read this one, but haven't yet.

    Adding it to the list!


  5. I've never heard of this one. Interesting.
    I'm adding it to my ever growing TBR pile. When I do write a review about it I will let you know what I think of it.

  6. This sounds interesting. I'll have to try it out on my grandkids.


  7. It sounds interesting. The cover even looks more on the sci-fi side of fantasy to me.

  8. I'm with you, I LOVED this book. It wasn't quite what I'd expected either, but I actually found the differences refreshing. And the illustrations are just to die for. Thanks for the MMGM feature! :)

  9. I've loved all the other books of his that I've read, so this one will go on my "to read" list as well. Thanks for sharing all these great books with us!

  10. I'm a huge fan of SPIDERWICK, so I guess I'll have to add this to the TBR list. I've been putting it off because I was afraid it wouldn't be as much fun.

    Nice review, Myrna!

  11. I hardly read any children/young persons fiction any more. Sad really.

  12. Thanks for another great recommendation, Myrna. I'm reading THE CLOCKWORK THREE right now (and about seven other books that came all at once from the library, so I'm being a little slow), and the world is just what you want it to be.

  13. Love the illustration! It reminds me of a comic that came out a few years ago - it failed due to property rights, I think, but the writing and illustrations were great. Saw your question elsewhere regarding Ninjas and it made me curious enough, I had to check you out. ;D

  14. Medeia, I would love to hear him speak. I've heard he draws during his presentations.

    Adam, I didn't know either of you worked on D&D. Did you ever work with Tracy Hickman? And yes, I think you'd like Wondla.

    You're welcome, Natalie. I hope you enjoy it!

    I'm quite sure you'll like it, Shelley. I'm a fellow Star Wars fangirl.

    I'd like that, Akoss!

    That's a great idea, Sue!

  15. Yes, Holly, it is, and it is ;)

    You're welcome, Shannon! Thanks for the second opinion!

    Thanks for reading them, Rorie!

    I think I liked it even better, Joanne. Thank you!

    That is kind of sad, Al. You should do something about that ;)

    Krista, I'm glad you're enjoying The Clockwork Three.

    Victoria, Nathan Hale did the illustration. You are referring to my avatar, aren't you? He's one of my favorite illustrators, and my whole family loves his website:

  16. No, I didn't work with Tracy Hickman. I never actually worked at TSR (though that would've been AWESOME), but I made PC games with Black Isle Studios back when they had the license for D&D computer games.

  17. You do know who he is though, right?