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Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Brian Selznick

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1,7061884,170 (4.34)154
Authors:Brian Selznick
Info:Scholastic Press (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 608 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, favorites, middle-grade

Work details

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (2011)

  1. 60
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (bell7)
  2. 61
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Unoriginality)
    Unoriginality: Same author. Filled with many beautiful illustrations like in Wonderstruck. In my opinion it is superior to Wonderstruck.
  3. 10
    Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (kaledrina)

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» See also 154 mentions

English (187)  French (1)  All languages (188)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
Wonder Struck was an amazing book! The reason I love it is because it is about children with hearing disabilities. For Ben, he was partially deaf, in which here, we can read. Rose on the other hand was completely deaf. How Selznick portrayed that was by using graphics. It was putting the reader into Rose's POV.
  Y-NhiVu | Nov 30, 2015 |
While going through his mother’s things after she dies in a car crash, young Ben finds a bookmark with a note he suspects was written by his father, a man he has never known. Although he lives with his aunt and uncle only a few miles away from his childhood home, Ben decides to run away to New York City to find his father. It’s a difficult task for anyone, but a freak accident has recently left Ben deaf. A boy named Jamie befriends Ben soon after he arrives and helps him find a place to hide in a secret room at the Natural History Museum. Interwoven with Ben’s adventures are wordless illustrations that tell the story of a girl named Rose, living in the 1920s. Like Ben, she’s a runaway who goes to New York City to see her idol, silent film star Lillian Mayhew. Eventually the narratives of Rose’s picture-story and Ben’s text-story are joined in a triumph of Selznick’s unique mixed-media approach to storytelling.

The illustrated pages are beautiful black and white pencil sketches. They remind me of animation storyboards. Each page captures a moment and your imagination fills in the space between each scene. In some ways, “reading” these pages is challenging, because once a child learns to read they rarely look back to wordless storytelling. But it suits the novel so well. As the reader passes the initial surprise and discomfort of learning to read a story without words, it creates empathy for Ben and Rose, both of whom are deaf, and their struggle to communicate with other non-deaf characters.

I also liked the choice to give the visual chapters to Rose. We know she loves silent films, and it feels incredibly right that her story be told in a format that she enjoys. Brian Selznick shows such creativity and thoughtfulness in the creation of this novel.

I haven’t even touched on the story yet. What child doesn’t fantasize about hiding in a museum overnight? Whether their curiosity is inspired by films like Night at the Museum or books like From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, kids always want to know what goes on behind the closed doors. It’s a real treat to follow Ben through the museum’s hidden corridors, and the mystery behind his father’s identity keeps the story moving forward.

It’s an amazing, wonderful book. I can’t recommend it enough. Beautiful, intriguing, and endlessly creative, this book is perfectly described by its title. It will surely leave each reader Wonderstruck. ( )
  makaiju | Nov 21, 2015 |
Gorgeous artwork as usual and an interesting and educational story. Took a little long for the two stories to swing around and connect but I was thrilled when they did. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Gorgeous artwork as usual and an interesting and educational story. Took a little long for the two stories to swing around and connect but I was thrilled when they did. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Gorgeous artwork as usual and an interesting and educational story. Took a little long for the two stories to swing around and connect but I was thrilled when they did. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
The two stories come together at the climax of the book, which manages to incorporate an impressive array of heartfelt issues: everything from education for the deaf to friendship, love of collecting, conservation, memories and dioramas. As I turned the pages my heart was well and truly warmed in that way beloved of a certain type of American children's literature – earnest, life affirming, educational, and impossible to dislike. Reaching the end I leafed back through the 460 pages of Wonderstruck, admiring the pictures, all thoughts of my daughter now banished. Honestly, Brian, I do know how you can be bothered.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Selznickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kreloff, CharlesDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saylor, DavidDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Sooner or later, the lightning comes to us all."

-Gregory Maguire
'A lion among men'
This book is dedicate to Maurice Sendak
First words
Something hit Ben Wilson and he opened his eyes.
He discovered a small blue book, its covers soft and creased with age. On the front, the title was stamped in black letters: WONDERSTRUCK. He flipped through the pages. The book was about the history of museums. On the back it said: Published by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
Ben remembered reading about curators in Wonderstruck, and thought about what it meant to curate your own life, as his dad had done here. What would it be like to pick and choose the objects and stories that would go into your own cabinet? How would Ben curate his own life? And then, thinking about his museum box, and his house, and his books, and the secret room, he realized he’d already begun doing it. Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders.
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Book description
Ben et Rose aimeraient bien que leur vie soit différente . Ben vient de perdre sa mere . Rose rêve d'une mystérieuse actrice . Un jour Ben découvre dans la chambre de sa mère , un indice qui l'intrigue . Un jour Rose lit dans la presse un article qui la fascine . Dès lors , chacun part en quête de son identité... à New York ! Mais Ben vit en 1977 et Rose en 1927...
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Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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