I read the final book in the Zita trilogy with excitement and a little sadness. Zita the Spacegirl is one of my favorite graphic novels out there: The main character is a girl who is full of courage and kindness, the story brings in such an array of different personalities in both friends and enemies, the plot moves at a great pace, and the artwork and dialogue make my kids and me giggle.
In The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, our young heroine is a prisoner in chains, being charged with “crimes” she did (but for the right reasons…?), persecuted by a corrupt government. Her beloved Mouse is going to be executed. A hooded figure appears, friend or foe? But before anyone can save her, she is stripped of her Strong Strong star, and chucked into a dungeon with only a pile of rags and a skeleton in the corner.
A children’s book? Absolutely! The artwork makes even the nastiest of villains kinda cute, and there is no doubt that Zita will triumph somehow. And that pile of rags and skeleton? Her newest friends! The pile of rags has been in that dungeon so long it evolved into a very nice life form, and the skeleton is more than happy to chat with someone new and offer its fingers and toes as keys to escape. In fact, those two characters develop and change during this story to become a duo my son and I found compelling and sweet.
That’s what this series is all about: You never know what to expect, and Zita doesn’t either. Yet, she knows that friends don’t give up on each other, and everyone should help the helpless, and her conviction changes the universe and every adorable creature she meets.
I’m sad the series is coming to a close, but can’t wait to read what Ben Hatke has in the works next. Plus, my nieces are finally old enough to be introduced to Zita! I get to start from the beginning and share the story of this strong girl facing the silly and unexpected with strength and love.
The Return of Zita will be available in May from First Second. GeekMom received a copy for review purposes.