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Wonderstruck (Schneider Family Book Award - Middle School Winner) Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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* “Selznick's story has the makings of a kid-pleasing classic…Another illustrated novel that should cement his reputation as one of the most innovative storytellers at work today.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "The way that the stories of Ben and Rose echo one another, and then finally connect, is a thing of wonder to behold.” -- School Library Journal, starred review
* “A gift for the eye, mind, and heart.” -- Booklist, starred review
* “Visually stunning, completely compelling, Wonderstruck demonstrates a mastery and maturity that proves that, yes, lightning can strike twice.” -- Kirkus, starred review
Awards and Distinctions for The Invention of Hugo Cabret :
2008 Randolph Caldecott Medal
National Book Award Finalist
#1 New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
#1 BookSense Bestseller
Select Praise for The Invention of Hugo Cabret :
* "A true masterpiece." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Fade to black and cue the applause!" -- Kirkus, starred review
* "Complete genius." – The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
* "Breathtaking." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "It's wonderful. Take that overused word literally: Hugo Cabret evokes wonder." -- New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
In this book, we meet Ben, deaf in one ear, mourning the loss of his librarian mother from icy roads in Northern Minnesota in the 1970's. Living with aunt and uncle now, Ben longs to unlock many of his own mysteries, from his dreaming about wolves to the identity of his father. Ben starts his journey by returning one night to his house, in which going through his mother's things, he uncovers many things she had kept hidden from him, which soon launches his quest. In a second story, told not through text but pictures, we meet Rose, a girl living in 1920's New Jersey with views of New York City, who is starstruck by a silent film actress and longs to see her. Wonderstruck tells and shows the stories of these two people in ways that surprise and delight the reader through the story, none of which shall be revealed here.
Selznick does many things in this book that, beyond the marvelous story he tells, show true craftsmanship. First, as it was true with Hugo Cabret, his illustrations are heartfelt and glorious.Read more ›
In 1927, Rose is suffocating at home with her father in Hoboken, New Jersey. All Rose wants is to be able to go out by herself, like the other kids, and to watch Lillian Mayhew in silent films. When Rose learns that sound is coming to the movies and that Lillian Mayhew is starring in a play right across the river in New York City, how can she stay away?
Will New York City reveal its secrets for Ben and Rose? Will either of them find what they're searching for in Wonderstruck (2011) by Brian Selznick?
Wonderstruck is Selznick's second book told in words and pictures like his Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In this book Ben's story in words intertwines in surprising ways with Rose's story told through pictures.
Although the format is still brilliant and the story is once again clever and utterly original Wonderstruck lacks some of the verve and guileless charm of Hugo Cabret. The story is messier with a more immediate sense of loss and details that never tie together quite as neatly as they did in Selznick's earlier novel.*
New York's American Museum of Natural History plays a prominent role in this story adding a nice to dimension to the story that will make it especially appealing for some readers** but Wonderstruck felt very busy as though it was tackling too much in one book.Read more ›
The first story is of Ben, a young boy in the 1977 who just lost his mother and sets out to look for his father. The second story follows Rose, a young girl from 1927's New Jersey who sets out to look for her idol, a movie star.
Both children's search take them to New York City. Both children - deaf - are struggling to find what they are looking for in a world where hearing is normal and sometimes taken for granted. In a sense, they end up mirroring each other's search and face similar hardships. How their lives intertwine in the end, though I was able to guess, was still very bittersweet.
I enjoyed the illustrations immensely. Brian Selznick sets out to tell a story through his pictures and he succeeds. The details in some of the pictures were amazing. I found myself looking forward to Rose's story even though I loved reading Ben's.
Brian also gives the reader a glimpse into Deaf culture, a culture that I've never experienced, and opened my eyes to a different lifestyle. I appreciated the way he told the story, giving the reader a glimpse into a world that some might not be familiar with. The story also echos with the longing we all have to belong somewhere, to be a part of something.
Wonderstruck is, at it's core, a story of acceptance and community. It's quite relatable and because of this, I think many people will enjoy reading it.
I love the way the alternating stories are told: one purely in image and one purely in prose until they merge towards the end. I kept trying to figure out how the two individual narratives set in different eras would eventually come together to form one story but Selznick successfully kept me in delighted suspense throughout the novel. Selznick is undoubtedly a unique alchemist of word and image but Wonderstruck also has its poignant substance.
The two protagonists, Ben and Rose, are lonely and in search of belonging to some place or to someone. In Ben's case (1977), his beloved mother just died and he is lost without her. In Rose's case (1927), she idolizes a famous actress, Lillian Mayhew, and keeps a scrapbook of her life. Their situations keep them isolated, even from well-meaning family members. Each decides to run away: Ben, to find the father he never met and Rose, to see Lillian Mayhew. Their journeys take them to that wonderland for kids of all ages: New York, and in a place that sets imaginations afire: The American Museum of Natural History.
As to what happens next, this is the only hint I'm going to give: In the afterword Selznick acknowledges that he was very much inspired by E.L. Konigsburg's The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and sprinkled references throughout Wonderstruck, daring the reader to find them. Another excuse to reread.)
"Ben remembered reading about curators...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this because it is being made into a film, and because I am studying ASL. This book is a simple introduction into a child's deaf world, starting back in the 1920s, to a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by kandersen
This is a a sweet story, told from alternating points of view of a young boy named Ben, and a little girl who both set out on an adventure that sets them on a collision course with... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nancy A
I was in love with Hugo Cabret, but this new graphic novel (?) by Selznick is even better, so don't forget to read it and to give it as a present. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gonza