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 . . .
. . . 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 WondLa.com 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.