A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Hero for WondLa is the second book in a dystopian trilogy by Toni DiTerlizzi that imagines a world dominated by aliens. Those in power subject those without to cruel experimentation and torture, reminiscent of some of the uglier episodes in world history. This futuristic fantasy touches on some meaty themes that parents might enjoy discussing with kids.
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What's the story?
Eva Nine, raised in an underground home by a robotic mother, is rescued by the first fellow human she's ever met -- a young pilot named Hailey. He takes her to New Attica, a hidden human city led by Cadmus Pryde, who spearheaded the Human Repopulation Project. Eva is at first enthralled by the high-tech city and its hip citizens, but her growing unease turns to alarm as she discovers just how completely Cadmus controls the human population -- and why. With help from a newfound sister, Eva learns that her friend Rovender and other aliens are suffering through cruel experiments ordered by Cadmus. She frees them and flees the city, with Cadmus and his war machines in pursuit, in a desperate attempt to warn the aliens of Orbona to prepare for battle.
Is it any good?
In this second installment of the WondLa trilogy, author Tony DiTerlizzi dials up the action and adds rich layers of complexity to his futuristic fantasy. Questions about family and friendship take center stage, and the relationship between human Eva and alien Rovender keeps the fantasy grounded.
As in The Search for WondLa, Terlizzi's lovely illustrations do most of the heavy lifting in portraying the curious world of Orbona. His writing isn't especially vivid, but the fast-moving narrative is more absorbing here than in the previous book. Fans of the first book will find A HERO FOR WONDLA a rewarding installment -- readers new to the series will have a hard time catching up. A few illustrations in the book unlock special features on the affiliated website, which also features free downloads and games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role of technology in New Attica. How is it similar and different from today? Do Emote Attire or implanted Omnipods seem like possible extensions of popular technology today?
Eva Nine, eager to belong, willing turns herself over to the Gens for a complete makeover -- but she ultimately chooses a more difficult, solitary path. Talk about pressure to conform and how that can be a source of frustration -- or relief.
Do you think this trilogy's online tie-ins, including illustrations that unlock online content and interactive games, enhance the book?
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