Lisa from the Youth team reviews this series for older kids, a hybrid of science fiction and fantasy; though they are not graphic novels, the imaginative storytelling is enhanced through DiTerlizzi’s distinctive illustrations.
I just finished reading the WondLa series by Tony DiTerlizzi. It is a wonderful mix of characters and action in a futuristic setting: imagine Rogue One meets Planet of the Apes meets The Wizard of Oz.
In this series, the main character Eva Nine is forced from her controlled underground sanctuary where she spent the first twelve years of her life, raised by a nurturing robot called Muthr. What she finds outside the walls of her sanctuary she could never have imagined; nor was she prepared for all the change and dangers which came her way.
Eva Nine had been desperate for a chance to leave her sanctuary and try to find others like her and a sense of family. She has one mysterious clue for this quest: a damaged and old photo of a girl, a robot and an adult and the word “WondLa”. Her quest brings up many issues of independence, resiliency, trust, responsibility, the importance of a connection with the natural world, and, in particular, with family.
I liked this series because as Eva Nine’s quest to find WondLa continues we find it is really a quest to find a family and a sense of belonging. In today’s world of blended families, extended families and families working to stay connected through technology such as Facebook and Skype, many of us are redefining what ‘family’ means and who it encompasses.
Also, in this changing world of technology and information, this series is a reminder that embracing change and new things is often the best practice and the immense power of helping others. Fighting change, as well as fighting who we really are, can often lead to fighting others – and, in the case of the WondLa series – often destruction and pain.
–Contributed by Lisa G.