Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl, 1)

by Ben Hatke

Other authorsBen Hatke (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2011

Call number

J GRAPHIC NOVEL HAT

Genres

Publication

First Second (2011), Edition: Illustrated, 192 pages

Description

When young Zita discovers a device that opens a portal to another place, and her best friend is abducted, she is compelled to set out on a strange journey from star to star in order to get back home.

User reviews

LibraryThing member prkcs
When young Zita discovers a device that opens a portal to another place, and her best friend is abducted, she is compelled to set out on a strange journey from star to star in order to get back home.
LibraryThing member jasonlf
This is probably better than the average graphic novel for a twelve year old, was perfectly enjoyable for the short time it took to read, but not anything particularly special. About a girl who travels through space/dimensions to a world inhabited by monster-like aliens where she bands up with
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misfits to rescue her friend and return to her home on Earth... or at least try to.
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LibraryThing member zzshupinga
Zita has appeared in webcomics and in a couple of the early Flight novels, but this is her first full length feature all to herself and she takes her readers on a fantastic ride.

We meet Zita and in the beginning she's just an ordinary, if somewhat spontaneous, young girl horsing around with a
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friend...when they find a crashed asteroid that contains a device with a giant red button. Doing what any kid would do, Zita presses the button and her friend is suddenly pulled through the vortex that has opened. After a moment of doubt Zita jumps in to try to rescue him. Zita is instantly pulled into a strange world, where even stranger creatures abound...and where most people would fear to tread. But Zita needs to rescue her friend and she rises to the occasion with the help of some new found friends and donning her space uniform along the way...and maybe saving a planet as well.

While the story isn't really new, the book is still a delightful ride with some great artwork. The storyline itself, and the way that Zita grows during the book reminds me a lot of Hayao Miyazaki's film Spirited Away (which is a good thing.) And just one more selling point, Zita is a heroine and shows that girl's can save the day as well.
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LibraryThing member janeyiaC
This story is about to friends Zita and Joesph gets sent to another planet for getting into trouble. Zita works on ways to get her and Joesph back to their home land. The will be great for grades 2nd and 3th, give great examples about friendship.
LibraryThing member Karen_D
Zita the Space Girl is pure fun and I enjoyed every panel of this graphic novel! I have been reading through graphic novels lately because I can get through them quickly and with a Maymester that requires thirty-three books to get through they are my only hope of "fun" reading.
Zita is a spirited
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girl that has to push buttons, even if they fall from the sky in a meteor rock. When she does pushes the button on the strange device that fell from the sky her best friend, Joseph, gets sucked into a vortex. Zita initially runs away but then resloves to find him and follows him into the strange world. This is where it gets fun! Zita runs into robots, a giant mouse, and a cult that thinks Joseph is the savior of their world. Tweens will enjoy this journey story and all the friends Zita makes along the way.
The drawings are more cartoonish in appearance but I like my graphic novels that way. It is in color and the characters are quite expressive. Zita's resolve to find her friend is quite stunning and you rely on the panels to see how she goes from scared to determined without dialogue.
I would agree with the description that it is Miyazaki-esque due to a strong heroine thrust into a fantasitical situation and must learn to deal with crazy events. However, Hatke makes his own world in such an SciFi that it does not seem as fantasy driven. I really like all the robots and strange aliens that Zita encounters along her travels in the foreign world. It actually reminded me more of Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi and would be a great go to collection for tweens who want more graphic novels like this one.
This is a first book in a series and I hope Hatke draws the next book quickly!
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LibraryThing member alexcirasuolo
This is a fast moving book! It is a fantastic read!! The female heroine - Zita is terrific! The illustrations are detailed.
LibraryThing member mal2012
ZIta is transported to an alien planet where she hopes to save her friend. Once there she has to flee angry robots and find away to save everyone before the planet is destroyed by an ateroid.
LibraryThing member ahmad74
Zita is a comic book where she plays around and presses a button which takes her friend Joseph into a portal. She presses the button again to go and save him. The portal takes them to a different planet. Littledoes she know that the planet is about to be blown to smitherens by a metor in 3 days.
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She meets some friends and they all go on a mission to find Joseph and save the planet. Later on we find out that Joseph is kidnapped by monsters who believe he is the key to saving the planet. Zita is a brave little girl who shows her bravery throughout this comic book. She looks for ways to save her and her friend before the planet is destroyed. Also she must help her friends that she has made off of the planet or stop the meteor from hitting the planet.
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LibraryThing member rjmoir
Zita the spacegirl

When Zita activates a strange device she finds in a crater, mysterious dark arms come out of a portal and steal away her friend Joseph. Screwing up her courage, Zita plunges into the portal after him, finding herself on an alien world three days before an asteroid is set to
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destroy it. Worse, the device that brought her to the planet breaks in the process. Relying on her wits and the friendships she makes along the way, Zita has to save Joseph, herself, and maybe, just maybe the whole planet! While the looming danger of planet-wide destruction might seem unsuitably scary subject matter for a graphic novel directed at this age-group, the thin linework and unsaturated colors create a a soft atmosphere that offsets the possibly upsetting subject matter. Even with such subtle color choices, the characters remain vibrant and funny. The twist put on the villains - they're simply foolish, not evil - also keeps the story lighthearted. The ending, which solidifies Zita as a hero, promises further adventures for readers to enjoy. Recommended.
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LibraryThing member akmargie
So much fun! I loved Zita and her crazy sidekicks. It reminded me of Princess Bride and Star Wars all wrapped together. The art was bright and engaging as well. A nice scifi companion to Amulet.
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Great art! Delightful story!
LibraryThing member brangwinn
Good graphic novels for younger readers are hard to find. This one fits the bill. Zita is spunky and the characters she meets in this adventure are quirky, but just like on earth friends support each other. The art work helped make the story. Seeing the space creatures was really much better than
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reading descriptions of them.
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LibraryThing member Tahleen
Fantastic artwork, an engaging story, and lovable, dynamic characters. I will most certainly be reading the next one, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.
LibraryThing member Strider66
Pros: fun protagonist, cute story, expressive artwork

Cons:

When Zita finds a strange device in a meteoroid and pushes the button on it her friend Joseph is pulled through the rift that opens. She reacts as any young girl would, by running away and pretending nothing bad just happened. Then she
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gathers her courage, pushes the button again, and jumps through the rift to go find her friend. Her quest to rescue Joseph takes her to an alien planet that’s facing its final days.

Zita’s a personable girl, with a lot of courage and heart. She makes friends easily, finding several creatures willing to help her out.

The artwork is very expressive, giving the characters a lot of personality to match the dialogue.

The plot is quick moving, with a few twists. Things wrap up well enough at the end of this comic, but there are 2 other books in the series, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl and Return of Zita the Spacegirl. The three books together make up the completed story arc.

This is a great kid friendly graphic novel that will inspire readers and hopefully encourage them to read more SF and fantasy adventures.
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LibraryThing member krau0098
I had been wanting to read this series for a while, so when I saw the book at the library it was a perfect opportunity to pick this up to read. It was a fun read with excellent colorful pictures. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Zita, and her friend Joseph, find a meteoroid in a field and in the crater
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they find a device with a red button. When Zita pushes the button (doesn’t she know you are NEVER supposed to push the red button!) a portal opens that sucks Joseph somewhere else. Zita hits the button again, dives through the resulting portal and quickly finds herself in a strange city. It’s a city full of aliens, all of them are trying to flee the planet before it’s imminent destruction by an asteroid. Then Zita spots Joseph being kidnapped by some aliens and rushes to rescue him. Zita must rescue Joseph and get off of the planet before it explodes...can she do it?!

This was a very fun read, I enjoyed it a lot. Zita is super spunky and has a very can do attitude about everything. She is a bit too rash at times and has to learn to think things through better. And like a lot of kids, she can take things too far sometimes.

On her adventure through this strange new planet she meets a lot of interesting new creatures and robots. She ends up making some wonderful, if unlikely, friends.

There are some wonderful twists and turns, lots of action and adventure as well. Zita has to face off with some kind of scary aliens to rescue Joseph too.

The illustration is cartoony, very colorful, and has lots of simple lines in it. While I generally prefer illustration that is more elaborate and detailed, the style of illustration used here works very well for the story and I enjoyed it. The illustrations are easy to follow and I love the colors, they also do a wonderful job of showing character emotions.

Overall this was an excellent middle grade graphic novel. The characters are fun and interesting, there are some good messages about friendship in here. The story is full of adventure and set in a neat world. If you like other graphic novel series like Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series or Kean Soo’s Jellaby series I think you would like this series as well. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
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LibraryThing member DougGoodman
Zits is a fun adventure in the same spirit of The Princess Bride, but as a science fiction. It is paced well enough to read to my 5-year old without him getting bored.
LibraryThing member nosajeel
This is probably better than the average graphic novel for a twelve year old, was perfectly enjoyable for the short time it took to read, but not anything particularly special. About a girl who travels through space/dimensions to a world inhabited by monster-like aliens where she bands up with
Show More
misfits to rescue her friend and return to her home on Earth... or at least try to.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Nickidemus
The Basics

Zita and Joseph see something fall from the sky and decide to investigate. It’s some sort of device, and when Zita activates it, it pulls Joseph into another world. She follows, but Joseph’s already been kidnapped by aliens. So now it’s Zita’s job to rescue him.

My Thoughts

Let’s
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get the good out of the way first, because there is plenty. The artwork is very cute, very well-done. The friends that Zita makes along the way are varied and interesting and adorable. The humor hits a lot of high notes, and nothing made me groan really. It was a well-constructed story that is great for middle grade readers.

Now my problems with it. For starters, this was so fast paced, I wasn’t given a moment to breathe. No one was really developed besides some exposition and hyper-quick reveals. It felt like chewing on a lump of sugar that overwhelmed fast. This book, for this reason, actually helped me realize what it is about middle grade that I can’t get past. Authors nowadays seem terrified of writing a story for kids that lingers on anything. They are writing for the kid with the attention deficit, hoping to keep them engaged, so when I read it, I’m blinded by the swirling colors and begging them to slow down for a second. Unlike some stories, this managed to not become an overwhelming mess, but it still wasn’t great.

Here was my other major problem: Zita. The idea is that Zita is a plucky Tomboy who subverts the idea of a girl needing to be rescued. In fact, she is rescuing a boy. Very progressive. Except… her pluckiness is what started the plot moving in the first place. The boy was being cautious, reasonably so, and she jumped ahead blindly and got him kidnapped. Everything that happens is her fault. Things like that continue to happen throughout the story. She runs headlong into danger and barely survives and nearly kills everyone around her. Her “pluckiness” isn’t a virtue.

And yet that aspect of her isn’t used as a cautionary tale either. The moral of the story is not to look before you leap. Zita learns nothing. It’s just a device to bring about humor or peril without it having any impact on Zita as a character. It’s not a very good feminist model, and it’s not a very good lesson for kids. I’m too old and analytical for this book, because while it’s silly fun, I saw potential for more, and it doesn’t meet that bar.

Final Rating

3/5
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LibraryThing member pussreboots
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke is a graphic novel about an ordinary girl becoming a space hero after her best friend, Joseph, is kidnapped by space tentacles.

Zita follows by jumping through the same portal before it closes. But she lands in a different spot and has to learn the lay of the land. As
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she does she evolves into a hero.

Zita is another of these books where I loved it in the moment but now as I reflect back on the story I realize most of it hasn't stuck with me. Instead it is the sequel that comes to mind.
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LibraryThing member lquilter
This children's graphic novel is often recommended for the girl power set. I liked it, but it suffers from the same "exceptional female" problem of so many of these alleged girl power graphic novels: One girl with an all-male supporting cast. I get it, authors, you can gender switch your
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protagonist! Bully for you. Now could you just build an ordinarily representative world with a mix of genders in all the roles?

Even with the criticism I'll still pick up the other Zita books, because the writing and illustrations were playful and fun.
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LibraryThing member josephumana
I think this book pulls from fairy tells because it follows a sense of adventure in space and its about fixing one's mistakes. The ever present about the world about to be destroyed only fuels the readers need for wanting to read the book. The detailed shots range from very narrow close ups but in
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city or landscape shots are really big so its like reading something like a movie. The gian rat being used as a way to get around, it was like the never ending story but set in something more modern. It is charming and something still going as newer chapters will be added.
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LibraryThing member ThisIsNotSophie
Zita, and her friend Joseph, find a meteoroid in a field and in the crater they find a device with a red button. When Zita pushes the button (doesn’t she know you are NEVER supposed to push the red button!) a portal opens that sucks Joseph somewhere else. Zita hits the button again, dives through
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the resulting portal and quickly finds herself in a strange city. It’s a city full of aliens, all of them are trying to flee the planet before it’s imminent destruction by an asteroid. Then Zita spots Joseph being kidnapped by some aliens and rushes to rescue him. Zita must rescue Joseph and get off of the planet before it explodes...can she do it?!
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LibraryThing member alaina.loescher
I have never been a big fan of graphic novels, but I LOVED this book. I loved the illustrations and the way that they worked with the words to paint Zita as a spunky, awesome character that resonates with all girls. I loved all of the characters and how unique their personalities were. I also loved
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that the illustrations were in color, unlike other graphic novels.
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LibraryThing member samseabornesq
Zita and her bestie Joseph zap to another world that is dealing with the impending doom of an asteroid collision. Joseph, seen as a savior by a dangerous native clan, is taken. This leaves Zita to make her way through this new world with a wild collection of very strange new alien friends in the
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hopes of saving Joseph, getting off the planet, and finding a way home.
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LibraryThing member Courtney_Anne
This book is so amazingly creative and adorable! The story is fun, the characters are easy to love, and the drawings are great! Who wouldn't love a giant mouse named pizzicato? Fun for kids who like comics and graphic novels.

Awards

Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2013)
Great Stone Face Book Award (Nominee — 2013)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2014)
Sasquatch Book Award (Nominee — 2014)

ISBN

9781596434462

Lexile

L
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