Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Zita the Spacegirl

Zita the SpacegirlTitle: Zita the Spacegirl
Author & Illustrator: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: February, 2011
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Goodsread Summary: Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of  an eye. 

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.
Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at. 
What Kellee Thinks: I love Zita. She is a good friend. She is brave. She isn't judgmental. She is smart.  She is a girl that all boys will root for and all girls will long to be.  And Zita doesn't let anyone down- she is a true hero and I love her story.  It is filled with all sorts of fun robots and creatures.  Zita's story is also a perfect example of the hero's journey, although Zita never backs down. 
I found this graphic novel so easy to read, because Hatke's graphics and story lent itself directly to making a movie in my head. With the bold lines yet a soft-hue of colors and a story filled with conflict, adventure and emotions, I wanted to know how it was going to all pan out from the very beginning.  Zita will definitely be joining my graphic novel collection.
And on top of it all, I have recently found out that Zita has her own website with webcomics that continue her story.  She also appears in the graphic novel anthology Flight 4
What Jen Thinks: I agree with Kellee! I love Zita as a main character. She is so brave and she is such a great friend. This book is probably the most graphic novel-y graphic novel I have ever read. I never liked graphic novels because all the busy-ness and thinking gave me headaches - literally, not kidding or exaggerating one bit. This book seemed to rely more on the drawings to convey the meaning moreso than other graphic novels I have read like Babymouse or Lunch Lady but I was still able to read it without my head hurting. I know it might be strange to base a good graphic novel on whether it gives me a headache or not but I do think there has to be a balance between the drawings, the text, the story and how much the reader has to infer. I don't mean I don't want it to be challenging, but I also want it to be fun. 
Read Together: Grades 3 to 7
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 8
Read With: Sidekicks by Dan Santat, Babymouse (series) by Jenni and Matt Holm, Lunch Lady (series) by Jarrett Krosoczka, Kit Feeny (series) by Michael Townsend, Sticky Burr (series) by John Lechner
Snatch of Text: 
"I'm sorry, Piper.  I came here looking for my friend Joseph. He was kidnapped because of me.  I can't go home without him. -Zita
Well, that does complicate things, doesn't it, Mouse? Can you describe the creature that took your friend? -Piper
Well, he had a helmet and these ugly tentacles. -Zita
You know, that actually doesn't narrow it down much. -Piper"

As graphic novels do not work well for telling you all snatches of text, we are sharing the book trailer as well: 

Mentor Text for: Inferring, Predicting, Plot Development, Paneling, Dialogue, Characterization, Imagination

Topics Covered: Choices, Friendship, Bravery, Good vs. Evil                                                             Writing Prompts: Zita travels across galaxies to save Joseph.  Who is your best friend that you would travel anywhere to save? 

Jen *hearts* it

Kellee *hearts* it

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