Wandala is resigned in Centralia while everyone else exists in a comfortably-content ignorance. She isn’t ungrateful, or jealous; she simply seeks something…more. Her dreams display a bridge to everywhere: North, East, South and West.
So silly. Since the big Boom-Boom, citizens have happily convinced themselves that their home is truly the only place on the planet. They are the only people.
But. Super Eddie doesn’t doubt or dissuade Wandala and he was once a Wiseman. It only takes one (intelligent and thoughtful) person to agree with the potential of her plan. Wandala simply will not accept intentional isolation. Instead of wondering, she and her constant canine companion, Rodney, wander.
Explorations bring new experiences and emotions. Bitter cold to desert heat. Excitement upon meeting someone new. Confusion; each boy the pair encounters initially speaks with haughty authority, despite his overall lack of knowledge.
She remains steadfast in her goal and eventually creates a conversation; hope. Sadness when he concurs, yet refuses to join her. Still, Wandala will exhaust every option. Perhaps she will see her patience and perseverance pay off; but it may not be in the way she expects.
Wandala is every child with her open-acceptance, alongside curiosity and determination. Wise-cracking Rodney proves to be amazingly adaptable, in truly transformative ways, as he accompanies his human on her quest.
The Adventures of Wandala written by Daniel Boyd, illustrated by Hector Mexia Sanchez, introduces a quietly confident, inquisitive girl. Young readers will admire her under-stated spunk as they thoroughly enjoy her adventure. Older readers may get an eerie, this-fiction-doesn’t-feel-too-far-off, vibe as they appreciate the tenacity and resolution of someone who learns to keep her head, but follow her heart.
Reviewed by jv poore, July 2020.