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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Why We Need More Spacegirls. Preferably By the Name of Zita

On February 15, 2011 I wrote up a little post about a girl by the name of Zita.  It’s not a particularly common name.  Look through the stats of girl names in a given year and I’d wager “Zita” doesn’t even make it into the top 1000.  Yet when you talk to kids and mention Zita their eyes just light up.  In an age when superhero comics are more appropriate for 35-year-old men than the small children that were their original fans, it can be heartening to see a new hero emerge.

So when I was asked whether or not I’d like to write up a post explaining “My Favorite Thing About Zita the Spacegirl” the answer seemed obvious.  Of course I would.  And to answer the question I love Zita because she is just that.  A spacegirl.  A science fiction character that’s female.  I mean, let’s just look at the number of science fiction titles published for children this year alone.  Now let’s open it up and look at the graphic novels and the middle grade fictional books.  How many of these star girls?  Girls with take-n0-prisoner attitudes?  Girls that are the clear cut stars, not sharing the limelight with limelight hogging boys?  If you can name me three, I will give you a cookie.

No sir, Zita’s unique.  Much as we would hope that she wasn’t, she is.  Because with The Return of Zita the Spacegirl I honestly feel that the promise so many of us girls received with Princess Leia is getting closer to being fulfilled.  But don’t take my word for it.  The cover the the third and last book in the Zita cannon says it all:

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. The first Zita book was what turned Maxine into a reader. One day she simply couldn’t imagine reading for fun. The next day she could. And it was like turning on a tap. So Zita is truly a superhero to me!

  2. Zita is my favourite girl among the three most popular selections we have in our library, with Emily from the Amulet series followed with Rose and Thorn from Bone in the rear. I have actually considered dressing up as her (Zita) for Halloween because I think she is an excellent role model (plus, you know, she’s a SPACEGIRL!).

  3. Joseph Miller says:

    I do love Zita. Such a fun read. 😉

  4. Kat Kan says:

    I love ZITA THE SPACEGIRL because both girls AND boys in my school love the books. And that’s a wonderful thing.

  5. Lorie Bonapfel says:

    I love Zita! I just checked in a new graphic novel called Cleopatra in Space; Book One Target Practice by Mike Maihack and thought it was pretty good. It’s definitely worth checking out.