The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, by Ben Hatke (FirstSecond, May 13, 2014)
The moment I saw Zita the Spacegirl, way back in 2011, I fell in book love. So did my boys.
Zita is back for her third adventure, and for those of us (me and boys) who are die-hard fans, the third book of her adventures does not disappoint. We get to see old friends, meet new characters (some cute, some grotesque; some lovable, some despicable), and we get to Zita being her intrepid, warm-hearted, impetuous self.
Her adventures in this book take her to pretty dark places. She is a prisoner, sentenced to work in the mines on a prison planet, and it is rather distressing. If you think your child is not quite ready for rather grim forced labor with shackles, hold off a tad. I wouldn't, for instance, hurry to give this to a sensitive six or even seven year old.
But, on the other hand, if you are looking for books for eight-year-olds on up that utterly prove that boys will read books with girls, turn to Zita! My own boys have read our copies many, many times. Zita is pretty much the most fiercely caring heroine around today I can think of; despite the resolution to the series that comes at the ending of this book, I can't help but hope that we will see more of her.
I love Hatke's drawings, and I very much appreciated the back matter Hatke provides here which includes a lovely sample of character sketches. He also tells the story of how Zita came to be, which was fun!
Here's a preview at Tor.
disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher