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Wonderstruck (2011)

by Brian Selznick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,8402514,248 (4.3)194
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.
  1. 70
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (bell7)
  2. 71
    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 194 mentions

English (249)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 249 (next | show all)
The novel features parallel past / present storylines, one of which is told through Selznick's cinematic art (as in Hugo Cabret). My 10 year old son was captivated by the mysteries in both timelines and enjoyed the ending which reconciled both stories. ( )
  DDtheV | Oct 25, 2022 |
Ben and Rose both dream of a different and better life. Ben, in 1977, longs for his father he’s never known, especially after his mother dies in a car accident. Rose, in 1927, dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she’s pasted into a scrapbook. Both set off for journeys in New York, desperate to find what they are missing. Told in dual perspectives - Ben’s story in words and Rose’s story in pictures, the two weave back and forth in symmetry before finding the missing link.

With half the story told in beautiful black and white illustrations and the other in traditional typed words, this novel is a very quick read - I myself read it over the course of an afternoon.

The illustrations of the novel were beautiful and you really had to stop and take a look at all the details. The pages were showing the life of someone who is Deaf, and because of this, I thought, there was so much detail.

This book is amazing and I love it so much. This has been on my TBR list for quite some time. And, as usual with books that continuously make it through multiple purges, I can’t believe I waited as long as I did to read it. It’s such an amazing book that I can see myself recommending it over and over again. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Jun 10, 2022 |
I liked the beginning of the book; it set up a sense of expectation and suspense over who the boy's father was and why was he never around, as well as suspense over who the girl was and why was she obsessed with the actress she avidly read about. I strongly sympathized with the boy's plight.
Unfortunately, the answers to these questions were a great letdown. The boy's mother was set up by the author to be an admirable woman, but it turned out she single-handedly placed her son in all his orphaned misery, and the author expects every character involved in the tragedy to continue to overlook that and admire her. I as a reader feel very confused. And the many suspenseful questions in the girl's story turned out to be pretty bland. At the end of the book I think I got two messages the author was trying to send: 1) It's good for deaf people to go to school, learn sign language and flourish in the deaf culture. 2) The Panorama exhibit is awesome. Those two messages really stood out because I feel the author forced these two details into the story arc just for the sake of giving the PSA. The plot development would have been pretty much the same with or without them. Another PSA he was trying to send was the wolf exhibit in Museum of Natural History is awesome. I am a bit more sold on this message than the other two (although still not a fan), because it's woven into the story from the very beginning, whereas the other two were just brutally inserted. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
Let's be honest: If not for the fact that I work in the Children's Department of the local library, I would have never picked up a copy of Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck. I would have not paid $16 dollars - that's $14 off cover price - for this insanely thick children's book. I may not have even beaten myself over the fact that it took me four days to read rather than the one night/one morning time span it should've taken me (my eyes do get tired). However, I can't say I didn't enjoy the book. Hell, it might be a brick but it's still a damn good book.

The novel follows to characters. Ben, a partially deaf boy who becomes fully deaf after an accident during an electrical storm and recently suffered the loss of his mother after a car accident; and, Rose, a young deaf girl who dreams of escaping her father's house in order to find a place in the world. The two stories are set fifty years apart - Ben's taking place in the 70's while Rose lives in the 20's.

Having never read anything by Selznick before - and if the price of this book is any reflection, it'll take another mandatory reading to get me to pick up anything by him - I don't know much about his style. Whether or not The Invention of the Hugo Cabret follows the similar structure is beyond me. See Ben's story is told through conventional storytelling - you know, with words - while Rose's story takes a more primal spin - with pictures.

It's a sweet story of two kids looking for their place in the world with a mixture of pop culture, Deaf culture, arts, history, and nature. The art work is beautiful and its detail is breath taking. Selznick has a way to keep his readers captivated and wanting more, while dropping subtle clues as it leads you down the path. ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
Read this one back in 4th grade, very proud of myself. ( )
  Maxwell6 | Jan 10, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 249 (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 editionscalculated
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 dedicated 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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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