by Ben Hatke
ages: 9+ (though I read it aloud to my 5 year old)
First sentence: "Finders keepers!"
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
What kid doesn't want to go on an adventure? Excitement! Different worlds! Being the hero!
I'm not sure if Zita ever felt that way, but she got thrown into it one day, when she and her friend Joseph discovered a device with a button. Zita must be one of those curious types: she pushed the button... which opened a portal, and both she and Joseph got pulled through.
And thus the adventure begins. Joseph gets captured by an evil-looking tentacled beast, and Zita goes after him to save him. While he's been tied up by the Scriptorians (on this unnamed planet), being expected to save the world from certain doom -- an asteroid is headed their way -- Zita experiences the world, meeting all kinds of unusual friends: a giant mouse, a robot named One who has delusions of grandeur; a nervous robot named Robby, who's been hiding in the wastes; a beast named Strong Strong; and a man with magical tools named Piper. All who help her get to the Scriptorians' castle to rescue Joseph.
It's quite the adventure, one with clever drawings and story. It's funny and sweet and adventurous. We couldn't get enough of it; my girls and I were completely captivated are already clamoring for the next installment.
You can't get better than that, I think.