Hatke, Ben: (02-03): Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, The Return of Zita the Spacegirl

The concluding books of Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, are as good or better than the first. Zita’s not perfect and the books let the consequences of her momentary lapses of judgment play out, with the same great art and inventive fun as before. Lovely plot momentum, too, Exhibit A for which is SteelyKid: the morning after we read the first half of the second book, she was dragging even more than usual, and she eventually admitted that she’d stayed up to read (or “read,” more likely) the second half of the book. So, though I felt like I was betraying my younger self to do it, I made sure to keep the third book out of her room when we weren’t actively reading it . . .

SteelyKid was a smidge taken aback by the “life goes on” style ending, because apparently narrative closure is an important thing when you’re almost six, but seemed satisfied by my firm promise that if the author wrote more books about Zita, we would get them. So, to the extent the SteelyKid seal of approval means anything to adults (as she also really likes, you know, Scooby-Doo books), there you go.

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  1. Ah, the eternal parenting dilemma — encourage healthy sleep habits or encourage voracious reading habits. And by encourage, I occasionally mean “frown disapprovingly at while secretly enabling” as when you absent-mindedly leave the book in the bathroom on weekend nights.

  2. Beth, yeah, but since she’s not quite six and barely gets enough sleep as it is, I think we’ll wait on that a bit…

  3. Good to know! We’ve picked up the first one (but plan to pre-read it given younger age).

  4. Definitely pre-read it, but I’ll be interested to hear what R. thinks!

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