Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Amazon Vine
Summary: Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.
My Review: Wonderstruck was an eloquently written novel that left me feeling electrified with its refreshing plot and artistic value. Brian's depiction between two styles of storytelling was creativity to its fullest. This was the first time I read a book that was told halfway through with character pictures. It was a pleasant surprised getting lost in the movement of the character's scenes instead of acting it out in my mind.
Ben and Rose's inter-tangled lives were pieced together in such a beautiful manner, which increased my curiosity about them. Ben's introduction started with lonesome moments, but escalated into a yearning for answers . I loved going through the journey of finding his father. He was quite brave to go to New York without any assistance. His determination was infectious; I couldn't help but root for him to find out the truth.
As for Rose, her story broke my heart; she was such a sweet girl, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. I admired her non-stop attitude in wanting to spend time with her mother. In addition, due to the fact that she was deaf, I was amazed at how it didn't get in the way of her search alone in a big city. With similar themes behind their stories, it was interesting to see that the even though they were fifty years apart, they still ended up in the same places.
All in all, the novel might be 608 pages, but it felt like 100 pages. The easy dialogue and breathtaking artistic quality in Brian's work, helped me breeze right through it. I definitely recommend this one if you're looking for something different. It's a book for all ages, so don't wait to long to be mesmerized!
Sneak Peek Video:
In addition to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick is the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winner, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Walt Whitman: Words for America, both by Barbara Kerley, as well as the Sibert Honor Winner When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and numerous other celebrated picture books and novels. Brian has also worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. When he isn't traveling to research and talk about his work all over the world, he lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.
For more info on Brian, visit his sites: