Wonderstruck is the second novel from Brian Selznick. He created a new genre with his debut The Invention of Hugo Cabret by combining words and pictures in an illustrated novel. He uses the same method for Wonderstruck, except this time, one character’s story is told through words and the other through pictures.
Wonderstruck is the story of two children trying to find out who they really are. Ben is adjusting to living with his aunt and uncle after his mother is killed in an accident. As a deaf child, Rose is looking for a way to interact in a meaningful way. The stories are set 50 years apart (Ben’s takes place in the 1970’s while Rose’s story is set in the 1920’s) but the stories are connected in many ways. Ben and Rose experience the world in a unique way because they are both deaf. Other connections are revealed as the book progresses and are delightful to discover.
This book is a page turner. Although it is over 600 pages long, the full-page detailed illustrations and fast paced plot keep you reading. I curled up on my couch and dove into this book. It was so engrossing that the rest of the world seemed to melt away as I got caught up in the story. As a huge fan of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I had high hopes for this book, and I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed.
Judging from the overwhelming popularity of Selznick’s first illustrated novel, I would say that this book would be a hit with tweens. I wholeheartedly agree with GreenBeanTeenQueen that this book would make an excellent book club choice. (You can read her review of the book here). The book is not only a joy to read, but provides ample opportunity to discuss important issues with kids.
Rating: 5 lupines (out of 5)
Recommended for: Tweens, teens, adults. Everyone should read this book!