Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
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Genre: Science Fiction; Graphic Novel
Length: 192 pages
First Published: 2011
New York Times Bestseller
Notable Children’s Books – 2012
School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of the Year
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.
My kids are the ones who introduced me to Zita and I am so glad they did. This graphic novel is full of delightful and unique characters who assist Zita in her quest to rescue her friend, Joseph. Not only is the story a fun adventure ride, but the themes of friendship and selflessness are good ones to discuss with kids.
The artwork is colorful and fun. In addition, the author/illustrator is creative in his use of panels and gutters. His double-page spread panels are well done and beautifully drawn. The artwork keeps you reading as much as the plot.
Note: Zita the Spacegirl is book 1 of 3 Zita books. You’ll definitely want to finish reading the series.
Book Club Ideas
Decorate with Space-Themed decor, paper products, and even music. A piece of fabric with stars or constellations works well as a tablecloth. Hang paper stars from the ceiling or tap them on the wall.
Wear a green cape and invite your guests to wear one as well.
Draw your own alien/robot character and give them a name. Describe their power or unique ability.
Grab this set of questions specifically designed to facilitate discussion about the format and artwork of the graphic novel:
About the Author: Ben Hatke
Ben Hatke describes himself as a “writer, artist, author of graphic novels and other kinds of books -most notably the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy and the picture book Julia’s House for Lost Creatures.” You can find him on his website.
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