Eva in WondLaLand

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

First Look:

It definitely looks like the middle-grade novel that it is.  DiTerlizzi’s art is beautiful and creative.  The creatures he has made are unique; whenever one was described in the text, I found myself paging to the next illustration to see its image.

Jacket Copy:

When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her: She knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.”

Breathtaking two-color illustrations throughout display another dimension of the tale, and readers with webcams can also view Augmented Reality that reveals additional information about Eva Nine’s world….[Clipped because I think there’s a minor spoiler, and there is nothing I hate worse than jacket spoilers.]


Yes.  As of right now, it looks like a duology.  I will be reading the next one!

Worth Reading?

Definitely!  WondLa is entertaining, bright, dark, energetic, and fun!

Notable Things:

Actually Mysterious Mystery!  I admit that the answer occurred to me, but there were several possibilities, and the seemingly most likely changed from chapter to chapter quite often.

Brave New World (But Not the Huxley Kind)!  Eva finds herself in a world that she is completely unprepared for and has to find her way around.

Super Advanced Technology!  Eva and Muthr have some sweet technology–so advanced that if we saw it in action, we might be inclined to call it…magical?

Strange and Fascinating Creatures!  Eva meets people of several different species, as well as encountering many a less-sentient creature.  All of them are fundamentally different from Eva and Muthr (no humanoids here).


You may have noticed a theme in my choice of illustrations.  Eva Nine joins a distinguished literary sisterhood of those who are exploring a strange, confusing, interesting, but dangerous world, of whom Alice, Dorothy Gale, Lucy Pevensie, and September (of Fairyland fame) are also members.  Their worlds bear little resemblance to each other, except that they are strange and magical; likewise, I am not accusing DiTerlizzi of plagiarizing anything.  Quite the contrary, in fact, the world of WondLa  is fundamentally different from each of these girls’ adventures, but for the central concept of a young girl courageously making her way through a profoundly strange place.  If you asked me whether you should read all of those girls’ stories, having read one, I would respond, “Absolutely! Each is wonderful in its own way!”  That is 100% my answer for Eva Nine’s story as well.




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