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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Title: Wonderstruck
Author: Brian Selznick 
Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Series: ---
Challenge: N/A
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
How Received: Borrowed
Rate: 5

 
Summary (as quoted from):
WONDERSTRUCK SUMMARY : From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.
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 thoughts:
Wonderstruck is an amazing book. Told with both pictures and words, the story follows two children, Ben and Rose. Their stories are set fifty years apart - Rose’s in 1927, and Ben’s in 1977 - but how they ultimately intertwine is simply breathtaking. Rose is a young girl who happens to be deaf, and feels sheltered by both her father, and her mother (mini spoiler) who happens to be a famous actress (mini spoiler over!). She is never allowed out of her house, and when she runs away from home to NYC, all she hopes for is a chance at a normal life - and the ability to be free. Ben is a young boy living with his aunt and uncle. His mother has only recently passed away, and he never knew his father. Unable to shake the feeling that his father is still out in the world somewhere, Ben finds hope in a book (that he found hidden in his mother’s belongings) with the title Wonderstruck on the cover, and inside of it, a bookmark with an address to a place in NYC on the back. Ben can’t help but believe that he has finally found the lead to his father that he’s always been looking for. But when he is struck by lightening, he becomes entirely deaf (as he was born deaf in one ear) and must transfer from his aunt and uncle’s cozy home to a hospital bed. Restless, and still curious to find out what the address on the bookmark leads to, Ben takes a train into NYC - the beginning of a trip that he will never forget. Rose was simply stunning ; her strength, wit, and raw determination was absolutely astounding. Ben was just as amazing, with his sense of adventure, charismatic personality, and unyielding determination. A fast-paced, fun, breathtaking read, Wonderstruck is a brilliant creation by a brilliant creator ; I highly recommend it.
5/5
~Moujnir

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