Recommended for ages 8-14
I just realized that while I’d reviewed both Zita the Spacegirl and the upcoming Return of Zita the Spacegirl, I never wrote a review for the second book in this great series – so I re-read it in order to remedy the situation.
When we rejoin Zita in the second book in her series, she has found intergalactic fame as The Girl Who Saved Scriptorious. Creatures from all over the galaxy are clamoring to meet her, and fame has become a bit overwhelming for Zita. When she encounters a robot that looks just like her, she decides to let the robot handle fame while she and Mouse take off to relax and be anonymous for a while. The only problem is, the robot is an Imprint-o-Tron, which eventually tries to replace their targets – and when two aliens seek “Zita”‘s help in saving their planet from the interstellar scavengers, the Star Hearts, Zita-bot is all too happy to lend a hand, stirring up trouble for Zita and her friends.
I am a big Zita fan, and this second book has every bit of the spirit of fun and adventure that the first book (and the upcoming third) do. We see a slightly different Zita here -she’s overwhelmed by fame, she wants to go home, and she ultimately learns about the power of sacrifice – she’s a more mature Zita who is still, at heart, a kid. The Imprint-o-Tron reminds me of Pinocchio, who wanted to be a real boy. The Imprint-o-Tron, or as I started calling her, the Zita-bot, isn’t bad – she’s following her programming, and she really seems to want to be Zita, to face the exciting adventures that Zita does. There are some great messages to be found in this second book.
There are some great resources on the Web for using Zita materials in the classroom. Comics Are Great has a downloadable lesson plan, along with an hour-long podcast dedicated to the book, where teachers, librarians, and cartoonists discussing the book.
The Zita trilogy is a great middle-grade graphic novel series. She stands as a good role model for any girl or boy who seizes the power of imagination and inner courage.