New York Times bestselling phenomenon Tony DiTerlizzi begins a new fantastical series.
In this first of a trilogy, Eva9, an eleven-year-old girl, has been raised in isolation on what appears to be an alien world. When her underground sanctuary is destroyed, she sets out on a journey to discover the truth of her origins and the planet she is learning to call home. Written with Tony DiTerlizzi’s penchant for the weird, The Search for WondLa pays homage to classic literature as it chronicles one girl’s exploration of a world that is both foreign and familiar.
1. What is a family? What elements make a family? Does color, size, or shape make a difference in what a family consists of? Is it possible for a robot to be a family member?
2. Was Muthr a good mother to Eva? Was she able to teach Eva life lessons? Did she have a loving spirit? How does a robot show love?
3. Muthr believed computer technology was omniscient. Was Muthr correct in her beliefs? Give examples from the book to verify your answers.
4. Muthr had a list of six basic survival skills for humans: 1. Trust technology 2. Signal others 3. Find shelter 4. Create fire 5. Procure food and water 6. Know first aid. How did these skills help or hinder Eva’s survival in the “real world”? Given her experience, did Eva find the list was in correct order for survival? Explain your answer.
5. Lewis and Clark, John Audubon and Charles Darwin, are all greatly admired people who captured “new” creatures, observed them, killed them, and dissected them all in an attempt to understand them. Are Zin, Besteel, Queen Ojo and the taxidermist any different from them?
6. As Eva begins her journey, she meets a cerulean named Rovender. Is there any significance to his name? As an adult, Rovender views his relationship to Eva very differently than Eva views their relationship. How do they view their relationship to each other? As the book progresses, does their relationship change? If so how does it change?
7. In Roman mythology, who or what does Orbona represent? Is there any significance to Eva?
8. While attempting to escape from Besteel, Eva was saved by the Wandering Forest. Rovender tells Eva he has never seen a forest respond as it did. Why did the forest come to Eva’s aid? In your opinion, what does it mean?
9. When Eva is visiting Lacus Besteel attacks her. Even though Eva is surrounded by villagers, no one responds to her cry for help. Have there been times in your life when you may have felt isolated and alone even though there were people all around you? Give an example.
10. As Eva walks through the village of Lacus, she takes out her omnipod to take pictures. Rovender is upset and tells her several times to put it away. What is wrong with taking pictures? How can taking pictures be harmful?
11. The author has said he was inspired by classic stories, fairy tales, and movies while writing this book. Eva’s WondLa belongs to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Can you see any similarities from other stories in this book? If so, which ones?
12. Would you describe Eva as a resourceful person who uses her skills and wit to solve her problems? Give reasons to support your answer.
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books with Simon & Schuster for fifteen years. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela), and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in more than thirty countries. You can visit him at DiTerlizzi.com.