written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Available now • Simon and Schuster • Ages 10 and up
The New York Times bestseller from the fantastical imagination that brought you The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Story: 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, for 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." Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children's literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child's wish for a place to belong.
Breathtaking two-color illustrations throughout reveal another dimension of Tony DiTerlizzi's vision, and, for those readers with a webcam, the book also features Augmented Reality in several places, revealing additional information about Eva Nine's world.
Story behind the story: Tony diTerlizzi writes about the power of place, character, and adventure: "As a kid who loved classics like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and Wendy, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I wondered why it was that I returned to these timeless tales again and again throughout my life. The answer is easy: There lies magic between those pages, places I loved visiting when I was ten years-old that I still love returning to today.
What if I could conjure up a story in the same spirit? A story that the ten-year-old Tony would have loved and that the forty-year-old Tony has the ability to create?
First, I’d make the hero a heroine—a strong and clever spirit drawn from some of my favorite protagonists like Dorothy Gale, Wendy Darling, and Alice. And, like those characters, I’d have her cope with problems children can relate to: Some are timeless, such as dealing with parents and finding one’s place in the world; others more timely such as society’s growing reliance on technology to help us.
Next, I’d create a wonderworld for my heroine to have her adventures in. A setting both familiar and strange that I’d hope readers would enjoy exploring. I’d populate it with characters whose personalities may seem familiar but who are housed in a more science-fiction cast, such as robots, aliens, and an array of bizarre otherworldly life-forms. This was how I began to imagine the world of Eva Nine and her journey in The Search for WondLa.
Though Eva utilizes futuristic technology as she interacts with all manner of aliens, her story is still a fairy tale at its heart. A fairy tale of compassion and family. A fairy tale of danger and adventure. A fairy tale for the twenty-first century."
Take a peek at Chapter 1