Published September 13, 2011
Hardcover, 640 pages
Ages 9 - 12
Wonderstruck is truly a unique book. It's impossible not to open its pages and be pulled in. It's a beautiful book. My daughter and son LOVED the illustrations and thought them amazing. I totally agree. Wonderstruck involves two stories that eventually converge into one, which my daughter thought was cool because Rose's story, told through the illustrations, was from the viewpoint of someone deaf living in the 1920s, whereas Ben's narrated story took place in the 1970s.
Selznick skilfully weaves back and forth between two stories that are set fifty years apart. We wondered how they would connect and I could appreciate how delighted my daughter was when the connection was made. Rose's story that unfolds through the black and white illustrations adds mystery to who she is, making us really pay attention to the details, and yet the simplicity of some of the illustrations evoked deep emotions, such as the facial close-ups, which I loved and could look at for a long time. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is so true with Selznick's artwork.
It's not easy to address issues such as parental death, or the sense of loss when a parent is missing from a child's life. Selznick addresses both through Rose and Ben who set out on a quest to find what they are missing. We felt their desperation, their loss, their disappointment, but also their joy and wonder as they experienced difficulties and new friendships each in their own journeys. My daughter was engrossed in their stories and liked both characters.
I also know sign language and getting to learn more about deaf culture just added to my enjoyment. My daughter too liked this aspect of the story. Selznick's books are not your average novels. They are works of art, both literary and illustrative. The visual stimuli from the images adds much to the already wonderful experience of reading. My daughter and I loved reading this book together.
In conclusion, my daughter's words well summarizes this book: “I was really wonderstruck.”
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Middle Grade Book Challenge
Disclosure: Thanks to Nikole Kritikos from Scholastic for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
I felt the same way as your daughter! I love hearing how an "intended audience" member feels about a book!ReplyDelete
This one is going on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!
I loved this book too! Selznick spoke at BEA and showed the process of creating the book and it is truly a labor of love.ReplyDelete
I couldn't agree more. This book is amazing!ReplyDelete
This book was so amazing that I went ahead and bought Hugo even though my kids are older. The drawings are wonderful and the storytelling is superb!ReplyDelete
640 pages? Sounds like a great book and one that I would enjoy, but...640 pages? ;)ReplyDelete
It's true there are 640 pages but about 400 of them are illustrations, so the book does not take long to read.
This book looks fabulous! I love Brian Selzick's work. I thought The Invention of Hugo Cabret was brilliant. I really enjoyed this review!ReplyDelete