Okay. It happened. I didn’t think it ever would, but it has. I’ve been ruined. Yep. You read that right. Ruined. I can no longer read juvenile fiction without comparing it to the amazing The Search for WondLa. Tony DiTerlizzi has ruined me. From this point on, his magnificent work is the yardstick by which all other chapter books will be measured.
The truth is, I fell in love with DiTerlizzi’s prose and word-use within the first few pages of The Search for WondLa (which you may remember me raving about HERE). I enjoyed reading it, if for nothing else, than his easy way with language, the way the words dripped off the page and onto my tongue like some sweet honey made just for my delighted writerly senses. That would have been enough. But then he made me fall in love with his characters as well.
Rovender Kitt? Seriously, seriously love him. I love the lessons of interconnectedness he bestows on Eva, which so closely resemble the things I’ve hoped to instill in, and inspire with, Lily-Ann. I’ll miss this particular character even more than I’ll miss Otto, the giant water bear, who speaks with kindness and gentleness telepathically to our young heroine, Eva, whom kid-kid enjoyed so very much.
Tomorrow we have to begin another book. The second book in the WondLa trilogy, A Hero for WondLa, isn’t available at our local library, and we don’t have the funds just now to run out and purchase it (or I would). We would so like to linger on Orbona a little longer, but it is what it is. I know whatever we choose to read, it won’t absorb us like the fluid, easy, natural flow of language that is Mr. DiTerlizzi’s masterpiece. However, I also know that we WILL make it back to read more about Rovender, Otto, and Eva… even if we are pulled away for a while, and that? It’s a very nice thing to know.
I had forgotten what it was like to read something so beautiful that the words alone remind you of what it is to be passionate. How they are strung together, the choice of each so careful and deliberate that your heart soars with each syllable. So used to the simple choices of most children’s books I had abandoned the memory of things so attentively scribed. Tonight I thrilled in the sublime usage of words divine.
It has been so very long since I read something where the words alone thrilled me so. We’re only two chapters into The Search for Wondla but already my writerly self is more fulfilled and ecstatic than it’s been in a very, very, VERY long, long, long while. LOL
I’m sure for some folk this may not make even a lick of sense, but for those of you who do get it? I know your hearts will be leaping along with me on this little discovery. It really is so rare these days (among literature of ANY kind) to find work that makes your heart leap. Awesome stories? You bet, there’s a lot of them out there. Fabulous characters? Even more so. Intricate worlds? There are still a few new places to explore. But words worth reading just for the sake of how beautifully they are composed? It has been decades since I read something where the words alone made my head spin with possibilities.
I’m aware that The Search for Wondla is juvenile fiction, but if you’re any kind of word-nerd, head over to wondla.com right now. Order a paperback, hardcover edition, or even the ebook or audiobook. Trust me. Like I said, we’ve only begun to dive into our search for Wondla – we’re only two chapters in… and already I know it’s going to be unforgettable!