Book One: Far From Home
by Ben Hatke
First Second, 2010. 184 pages.
This is a fun graphic novel that will appeal to a wide variety of kids. We have adventure, humor, strange space creatures, robots, deathly peril, and lots of action.
Zita’s adventures begin when she and her friend Joseph discover a crater with a smoking meteorite. Zita investigates and finds poking out of it a little device with a big red button.
Joseph knows the obvious: If you push a big red button, you are asking for certain doom. Zita, however, cannot resist. She pushes the big red button — and tentacles appear and pull Joseph into a vortex, calling out to Zita for help.
Well, Zita can’t just abandon Joseph when she was the one who pushed the button. She pushes the button again and gets sucked in herself.
She finds herself on a distant planet — a planet that is going to be destroyed by an asteroid in three days. She sees Joseph taken away in a spaceship, and learns that he’s being held by the dread Scriptorians.
So: Zita’s quest is to rescue Joseph and get back to earth before the planet explodes. Along the way she gains some strange companions — space creatures, robots, and others — all with their own quirks.
I like the artwork — colorful, full of variety, and clear in what’s happening. (I don’t know much about art, but this is pleasing to the eye.)
I’m not a big graphic novel fan, but I liked this one enough that I will keep my eyes open for Zita’s further adventures. I like her determination, her loyalty, and her spunk.
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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.