Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, September 2011, Scholastic Inc., 640 pages.From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
This is the second book now that I've read by Brian Selznick and I have to say that he is brilliant! (You can read my review of The Invention of Hugo Cabret here.) The way that he juxtaposes the text and the art, both of which move the story along, is amazing.
In Wonderstruck, he tells two stories: one of Ben, a ten year old boy in Minnesota whose mother has just died, is told in the text; and the other of Rose, a deaf girl fifty years earlier, is told in the pictures. These stories are weaved together beautifully to form a singular, beautiful story.
The characters and the emotion in the book are wonderful. I found that I really felt for both Ben and Rose and their impossible situations. Selznick uses both art and words to focus in on what is important and to help us sympathize with the characters.
Like the Invention of Hugo Cabret, this book appears to be long, but it is not. It has so many wonderful illustrations, this book has over 460 pages of them, that it is actually a fast read. However, I found myself lingering over the pictures, taking in the details and enjoying how well done they were.
I highly recommend this book for both kids and adults. The book would be good for middle grade and up and for those who like a well told story with adventure and touching humanness.