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Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
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Wonderstruck (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Brian Selznick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5721714,648 (4.35)148
Member:srearley
Title:Wonderstruck
Authors:Brian Selznick
Info:
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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 148 mentions

English (170)  French (1)  All languages (171)
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READ IN DUTCH

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I've been struggling to shelf this book, as I usually try to do so by genre or what made the book special. But how do you even start to describe a book that part novel and part graphic novel? I've shelved it for now with the graphic novels, in the hope I'll one day find a better solution, because that was the part that made this book very special for me.

I haven't read The Invention of Hugo Cabret yet, but when my sister brought Wonderstruck home, I knew I really wanted to read it. And I'm very glad I did. I won't tell too much about the story, because it is so wonderful to see and find out for yourself. Ben, deaf in one ear who's never known his father but wants to find him, tells his story through words, whereas Rose's story is told in pictures.

The novel is over 600 pages, but a lot of them are pictures, so this book is very readable (also for younger children). You can easily read the book in a single afternoon, if you wish. I was immediately sucked into the story and couldn't stop reading it. It's a very original and beautifully written children's book. (Of course, if you want to, you could comment on the storyline that's not always completely realistic, but I like to look to this book more as a modern fairy tale, more as an Noah Barleywater).

Some of the pictures were really beautiful, I especially like some of the close-ups of Rose. One minor comment, I read the Dutch translation, and some (most) of the text was translated from the pictures, however, sometimes, in one screen the text was translated and in the next it wasn't. That felt slightly off, and a bit lazy. But nonetheless, it's a very special book, half words, half pictures. I'd recommend it! ( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
Beautiful story told through pictures and text. I love the dual plot lines that merged towards the end of the book. Very unique read. ( )
  rachelmuegge | Jul 23, 2014 |
In 1977, Ben has recently lost his mother. He never knew his father, so he is living with his aunt and uncle. In 1927, Rose seems to have an obsession with a silent film star. They each set out for New York City to find, in Ben's case, his father, and in Rose's case, the actress, and both end up – 50 years apart – at the Museum of Natural History. Their storylines do eventually intersect.

I really liked this. Not necessarily for the story, though that was enjoyable, but for the way it was done. Rose's part of the story is all told in pictures. It makes it a very fat book as so many pages are pictures, but it read very quickly. The pictures are done very well – they are simple, but also quite beautiful. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 19, 2014 |
Brian Selznick's books are, to me, what a graphic novel should be. A wonderful story punctuated by amazing drawings. I was a fan of [b:The Invention of Hugo Cabret|9673436|The Invention of Hugo Cabret|Brian Selznick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327879761s/9673436.jpg|527941] and, now, I'm a fan of Wonderstruck, as well.

This story is about a boy in northern Minnesota named Ben. Ben's living with his aunt, uncle, and cousins after losing his mom in a car accident. One night he finds the courage to go back to the house he once shared with his mom and he finds a book, Wonderstruck, that captures his interest. Even more so when a bookmark falls out that might include a clue to who Ben's father is. But a lightening strike puts Ben in the hospital and derails his plans of finding the man who may be his father.

It is also the story of Rose, a girl in the 1920's who lives in Hoboken, NJ and dreams of New York City. Her mother is famous, but Rose barely sees her. Instead, she lives with her father, a doctor, and builds paper models of New York in her bedroom. One day, Rose gets the courage to sneak away to New York, but her mother isn't at all pleased to see her. She runs, instead, to the museum and her brother, Walter, finds her there and takes her home.

There are common threads in both Ben and Anna's stories, but the most obvious one is that both children are deaf. Both children are also fascinated with the museum and collecting - and that is a fascination which connects them in profound and unbreakable ways.

The story is wonderful and the illustrations are captivating. ( )
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
I really enjoyed the two stories in the book and how the connection is revealed in the end. Ben has just lost his mother and is living with his aunt next door. When he finds a clue he thinks will lead him to his father, he is struck by lightning through the phone line and loses his hearing. He then leaves the hospital and tries to uncover information about his possible father in NY. This leads him to hiding out in the natural history museum and meeting a friend. At the same time we learn the story of Ruth through illustrations only, and at the end of the story the reader understands the connection between Ruth and Ben. A wonderful book- for 4th and 5th through middle school. The author says there are connections to the novel From the Mixed up Files..... but I need to go back and look for them. ( )
  SuPendleton | Jun 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (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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Epigraph
"Sooner or later, the lightning comes to us all."

-Gregory Maguire
'A lion among men'
Dedication
This book is dedicate to Maurice Sendak
First words
Something hit Ben Wilson and he opened his eyes.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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