Parents' Guide to

The Search for WondLa, Book 1

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Artwork, great heroine elevate futuristic fantasy.

The Search for WondLa, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

I read this book as a kid and it was wonderful

This was the first book I had ever read of my own accord and I still love it deeply. However, younger children will have a difficult time dealing with the death of a main character near the end of the book. I reread this book in high school and it was still heart-wrenching. Of all three of the books, though, this is probably the safest for children. I'm not saying that the other two books have adult content necessarily but that the stakes are definitely higher. This book, when broken down to its basics, is a good story about a girl trying to find her place in a strange and confusing world after the life she knew was taken from her.

This title has:

Great messages
age 9+

Timely Themes

This series deserves a rating higher than the 3 star rating given by the literary "expert" who provided the primary review. I would justify this statement based on the thematic content of the book. The book addresses themes that are timely for readers growing up today. Topics of focus include but are not limited to ecological responsibility, diversity tolerance, the meaning of consciousness, animal ethics, standing up against totalitarianism, bioethics, and the responsible use of technology. The writing may not be deserving of a Newbury award but I believe that there are other features by which the overall quality of a book might be judged. I would rather have my child read a book that challenges him to think critically about relevant issues that impact him and his peers, than have him read another impeccably crafted tearjerker about a boy and his dog. I joined this site just so that I could write this review. READ THIS BOOK!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

The Search for WondLa, the first in the WondLa series, starts strong, with a familiar character in a most unfamiliar setting. Eva is at the age where she's itchy to escape her mother's control but anxious about being on her own. The dramatic opening chapters and deftly portrayed relationship between Muthr and Eva sets the stage for a poignant adventure. Strong characters and intriguing themes, however, get bogged down in plodding writing. Action scenes are muddled, and the descriptions of this highly imaginative world fall short.

Luckily, the book features beautiful illustrations by author Tony DiTerlizzi, who also co-wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles. The detailed, moss-toned artwork compensates for the story's descriptive failings. Fans will enjoy plentiful extras, including a map of Orbona and a guide to the alphabet, as well as online content: Three illustrations in the book unlock interactive maps on the affiliated website, which also offers games, desktop wallpaper, and other tie-ins.

Book Details

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