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Book review – The Search for Wondla

November 13, 2010

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi

I initially chose this book for my ten year old daughter, because she absolutely loved DiTerlizzi’s The Spiderwick Chronicles.  Alas, she is in the middle of three different books and didn’t even start reading this, so I figured I’d start reading it to give her a preview.  My well-intentioned preview turned into staying up ’til almost 1am finishing the book.

Although I am not really a huge fan of science fiction or futuristic fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It started out a little slowly for me, and I didn’t enjoy the initial encounters of Eva Nine and the other-wordly creatures she encounters.  Once she receives a vocal transcoder and is able to understand these creatures, I was able to read more comfortably and enjoy the story instead of being distracted by the foreign speech. 

We follow Eva Nine on a journey to find herself and other humans like her.  She travels with Rovender Kitt, a wanderer whom she helps free out of the camp of Besteel, the huntsman who destroys her tranquil life and sets this journey in motion.  Together with Otto, a water bear also saved from Besteel with whom she communicates telepathically, Eva and Rovee search for Muthr, Eva’s robot caretaker.  During the many obstacles in her way, we see Eva and her traveling companions grow in unexpected ways.  Ultimately, Eva manages to find herself in more ways than one, and so do her traveling companions. 

The book leaves me with the messages that all living beings matter and that life is a journey that takes unexpected turns.  On the very last page of the book, DiTerlizzi lays the foundation for the next book in the eventual trilogy with a surprise ending. 

Although the dust jacket says for ages 10 and up, this book might be a little too intense and contain difficult vocabulary for most elementary school students, and would probably be more appropriate for middle school levels.  There is some violence in the book, which may upset very sensitive readers.  Ultimately, the book’s uplifting message help minimize this. 

I haven’t even mentioned WondLa vision, which allows readers access to virtual maps of Orbona using a computer and webcam.  I enjoyed using the WondLa vision, and my children were intrigued by it.  You can still enjoy the book without it, but it’s worth the time to check it out.

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