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Kid Konnection: Wonderstruck

September 17, 2011

Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick is a hard book to describe, because it’s actually two stories in one.   The seemingly unrelated stories alternate until late in the book when they merge and readers discover how they’re related.

The first story is set in 1977 and is told with words.  It’s the story of Ben, a young deaf boy who’s living with his aunt, uncle, and cousins after his mother’s death.   Ben longs to find the father he’s never known and a clue he finds leads him to New York.

The second story, set in 1927, is told through pictures.  It’s the story of Rose, a young girl who wants to meet an actress she admires.  Rose runs away to New York.

I don’t want to say more about Wonderstruck, because I think it’s best to go into it without knowing much.  It takes a little while to see how the stories are related, but the journey there is wonderful.  Ben’s a wonderful character – he loves his aunt, uncle and cousins, but wants to know about parts of his life that his mother kept secret from him.

Since Rose’s story is told through pictures, it takes a little longer to figure out what’s going on.  The illustrations are unbelievably gorgeous and detailed and I gladly studied them for clues to the puzzle.  The illustrations are pencil drawings and I cannot describe how wonderful they are.  After I finished the book, I went back and studied the illustrations all over again – they are that stunning!

I loved the way the stories merged and thought the ending of the book was fantastic!  This book is a keeper and it’s one I’m sure I’ll read again.

Selznick is a truly talented artist and author and he just took my breath away with this book.  I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing the beauty of Wonderstruck.  Even if you normally stay away from young adult books, you need to read this one.  I’ve never experienced a book quite like this one, but you better believe I’ll be looking for more of Selznick’s work.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Scholastic.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2011 5:38 am

    Oh I love the sound of this one!Two stories in one and you can’t tell us much. Fab!

  2. September 17, 2011 6:15 am

    Okay you got me. I’m one who “usually stays away from YA books” but I will take your recommendation and try this one. Illustrations that you returned to again and again and a story that is woven so seamlessly — I’m in 🙂
    Hope you are enjoying your time at SIBA!

  3. kaye permalink
    September 17, 2011 8:01 am

    Wow, this sounds like an amazing read! Glad you enjoyed it so much.

  4. September 17, 2011 8:36 am

    This is on my wish list. So glad you enjoyed it.

  5. September 17, 2011 8:47 am

    I so can’t wait to see this book@

  6. September 17, 2011 9:28 am

    Absolutely – those who don’t typically read YA or MG books should look at WONDERSTRUCK – the detail in each of those illustrations (aren’t there something like 400?) is amazing!!

  7. September 17, 2011 11:09 am

    Wow I’ve heard such good things about this but hadn’t focused on the visual side. He. Really s an incredible artist. What talent!

  8. September 17, 2011 11:42 am

    I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this.

  9. September 17, 2011 12:30 pm

    This is the one I wanted to grab at BEA and did not get it… I seen all the colorful advertising for it and I was soooooo curious. Still am and can not wait to get a copy!

  10. September 17, 2011 3:50 pm

    Ooh! Thank you for spotlighting this book. I saw it at the story the other day and was immediately entranced. It’s going on that TBR list, especially since I loved THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET.

  11. Staci permalink
    September 17, 2011 5:22 pm

    He’s a favorite of mine. This one is already on order for my middle school library!

  12. September 17, 2011 5:44 pm

    I always get curious about something and this time it was that fantastic ending 😉

  13. September 18, 2011 10:40 am

    Your excitement got me. Loved this review best since it captured the excitement down perfect.

  14. September 18, 2011 11:04 am

    It does sound like a wonderful book. Selznick is one of my favorite picture book author/illustrators. I’ll be sure not to miss this one!

  15. September 18, 2011 3:46 pm

    I’ve seen raves about this book but didn’t realize it’s by Brian Selznick. I’ll have to get my mitts on a copy of it. Your review is just icing on the must-have cake.

  16. September 19, 2011 12:08 pm

    I think books like this one appeal to non-readers in general. Sort of gives them a taste of both worlds.

  17. September 19, 2011 8:21 pm

    I read Hugo Cabret a few months ago, and absolutely loved it. I did quite a bit of reading about Brian Selznick too. He’s quite the clever lad. I hadn’t heard about this new book, I’ll have to keep an eye open for it, I hope it makes it to Australia soon.

  18. drbethnolan permalink
    September 20, 2011 11:39 am

    I saw this at B&N yesterday — what ages do you think it’s appropriate for? I am one of the buyers for our school library — K-8. It looked sooooo interesting!! thanks – beth

  19. September 22, 2011 9:09 am

    Nothing else to say…. I loved this book!!!!

  20. September 24, 2011 9:13 pm

    I’m looking forward to this. Glad to see you were impressed.

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