Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

Book review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl Book Poster Image
Sequel has even more awesome bravery and action.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

No specific educational material, though the Zita books are great entry points into the sci-fi genre.

Positive messages

Demonstrates how superficial and temporary fame can be, which reinforces the ideas that friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing are what makes someone special.

Positive role models & representations

Zita is a normal (space-traveling) girl who is extraordinarily loyal to her friends and feels a sense of responsibility to help others. She's sometimes grumpy and sneaky, but her imperfections just make her more relatable.

Violence & scariness

Lots and lots of sci-fi action where Zita is chased by police aliens and thugs, and pushed and temporarily knocked out by her Doppelganger; key characters sometimes appear injured or lost; a planet seems in jeopardy; and there are moments where it seems as if the hero will not make it.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Legends of Zita the Spacegirl is full of exciting sci-fi action with a brave and loyal young heroine in the lead. As in the first Zita book, aliens of all kinds -- some creepy, some cute -- populate the universe, and Zita must make her way through several scary chases, along the way losing track of a beloved friend. Main characters sacrifice themselves for the good of others, and there are some deeper messages for older readers about the value of fame.

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What's the story?

After the events of Zita the Spacegirl, where the young heroine seemed to save a planet from sure destruction, Zita's reputation has traveled the galaxy. She's met by adoring fans wherever she goes in her travels with the musician and tinkerer Piper as they seek a way to get her back home. But Zita tires of the attention easily, and when she finds a faulty robot girl who idolizes her and also looks a lot like her, Zita sees a way to spend more time exploring with her friend Mouse and less time signing autographs. But when misadventures make her adoring public turn on her, Zita must escape the Doom Squad and reconnect with her friends. With the help of a beautiful space traveler/circus performer named Madrigal, Zita finds safety only to lose track of Mouse and be faced once again with the task of saving a planet.

Is it any good?

LEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL is a delightful graphic novel that will appeal to both boys and girls. The action is nonstop, which keeps the story moving quickly, but in addition, the art is filled with whimsical details and the writing packed with humor, so kids of all different sensibilities will be entertained and engaged.

This series installment is more complex than the first Zita book, which makes it great for those who want to delve deeper into author-illustrator Ben Hatke's textured world, but a bit harder to follow for younger readers. Intertwined storylines, character back story, and some deeper messages about identity and fame enrich this surreal sequel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fame. How do you find out about famous people? Do you think they're the same in person as they are in the news or in movies? How often do you think rumors about famous people are true?

  • Talk about the difference between reading a graphic novel and a regular novel. How do the images change your reading experience? Are certain stories better told with images?

  • What kind of person is Zita? What traits make her special? What makes her just like any other girl? Do you think she's a role model?

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