Brian Selznick last shocked and delighted the world with his incredible work of art, The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a tour-de-force in combining word, illustrations and photos to tell an unforgettable story. The book not only became a bestseller, but went on to win multiple awards, including the 2008 Caldecott Medal, a Quill Award, and was on numerous best book lists, including the New York Times, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. And the great news is Selznick is back with another incredible story employing his artistic and writing talents once again in Wonderstruck.
In Wonderstruck, Selznick tells two stories simultaneously: one in strong and powerful words about a boy named Ben in 1977; the other in moving illustrations and pictures about a girl named Rose fifty years earlier in 1927. Ben discovers an important clue to the identity of his unknown father, and then the home he is in is struck by lightning, passing through the telephone he is holding, turning him deaf for the rest of his life. But he still needs to discover who his father is, no matter what it takes. He runs away from the hospital and travels to New York City, following the clues, which take him to the American Museum of Natural History. There he will find some answers, as well as some new friends, while exploring this incredible place. Rose’s journey also takes her to New York and the museum, in search of a loved one. As to how Selznick links the two stories, bringing them together in a powerful plot . . . you’ll just have to read the book yourself.
Selznick manages to convey so much detail and emotion in his artwork, even though they are black and white, as to tells as much of the story as the pages that feature his words. He uses the same method from The Invention of Hugo Cabret, with multiple pages of illustrations unfolding a captivating tale. Readers of Hugo Cabret will find just as much magic in Wonderstruck; and for those who are picking up Selznick for the first time, this book will sweep you away to a miraculous world that you’ll never want to leave.
Originally written on October 13, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.
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