Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Search for Wondla

The Search for Wondla

Tony DiTerlizzi
For ages 10 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Terri Hatcher
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2010   ISBN: 978-1442334281

Eva Nine has spent her entire life - all twelve years of it - living in an underground bunker. Instead of having a human family to raise her, she has been educated and cared for by a robot called Muther. Muther has spent a considerable amount of time teaching Eva Nine survival techniques, preparing her for the day when she will be ready to go to the ground above. Not surprisingly, Eva Nine is eager to leave the bunker to see real trees, birds, lakes, and waterfalls. She is tired of her confined life, and she is chaffing under the restrictions that Muther imposes on her.

One day, and without warning, Eva Nine’s home is attacked. She manages to escape, though she has to leave Muther behind. When she reaches the surface, Eva Nine soon discovers that the world above ground is nothing like the holographic images she has seen of Earth. The trees walk around and they hunt birds. There are dangers that Eva Nine does not even begin to understand. Her hand held computer device is unable to identify any of the life forms that Eva Nine encounters. Why is the above ground world so very strange and alien?

Then Eva Nine meets a creature who calls himself Rovender. He not a human, but he is clearly a very civilized and kind being. Eva Nine and Rovender barely get the chance to get to one another when they are captured by the same huntsman who attacked Eva Nine’s bunker, and for a while their future looks very grim indeed. Thankfully, Eva Nine is able to escape, and she frees Provender, a large elephant sized water bear, and the huntsmen’s other captives. Eva discovers that she can communicate telepathically with the water bear, whom she calls Otto. Together the unlikely threesome retrieve Muther from the bunker, and then they travel to a settlement where Eva Nine hopes she will find some information. She needs to understand the strange world that she is now a part of. Why is she here, and are there other humans on the planet?

This marvelous and compelling audiobook will have listeners sitting on the edge of their seats. Every time Eva Nine and her friends seem to reach safety, they encounter some new difficulty that they have to overcome. With colorful characters and a story that is full of surprises, this is an audiobook that will surely become a much-loved favorite with young readers.

Terri Hatcher’s narrative is lively and it beautifully captures the magical nature of this extraordinary story.