Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

by Brian Selznick

Hardcover640 pages
WonderstruckPublished September 13th 2011 by Scholastic Press

Premise: Ganked from Goodreads:
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. 
Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

(My) Review (no spoilers):

This book is completely separate from Hugo Cabret. The author uses the same idea of telling the story alternating writing an drawing. If you haven't read either of these books, you simply have to pick one up to see what I mean. I get so much out of each picture - emotions as well as actions.

from Wonderstruck
In Wonderstruck, Rose's story is conveyed in the pictures, and Ben's in the writing. They don't actually meet up until towards the end of the book - you'll have to read to see why!! (That's "the puzzle"!!)  Near the beginning, the cover makes sense as lightning strikes and changes Ben's life.

My 12 yr old, Dash, read this entire book in one week. He is one of those famous "reluctant readers" that can dawdle through a story if he wants to, so I was impressed. He read this book at school and at home in bed at night. He showed me his progress in the pages every day. He refused to tell me too much about the story because that would spoil it. He said. His brothers watched his enthusiasm with great interest, and Bear has already reserved Wonderstruck at his school library to be just like his older brother. (Yay!!)

So I'm going to give this book 5 stars LOVE IT!! for giving my boy such a fun read. If Wonderstruck is anything like Hugo Cabret, it'll be read and reread and reread, which should be 5.5, but we'll just wait and see about that.

About the Author:

Hello there. My name is Brian Selznick and I’m the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was born in 1966 in New Jersey. I have a sister who is a teacher, a brother who is a brain surgeon, and five nephews and one niece. I studied at The Rhode Island School of Design and after I graduated from college I worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. I learned all about children’s books from my boss Steve Geck who is now an editor of children’s books at Greenwillow. While I was at Eeyore’s I also painted the windows for holidays and book events. 
My first book, The Houdini Box, which I both wrote and illustrated, was published in 1991 while I was still working at the bookstore. Since then, I have illustrated many books for children, including Frindle by Andrew Clements, The Doll People by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin, Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which received a 2001 Caldecott Honor. 
I have also written a few other books myself, including The Boy of a Thousand Faces, but The Invention of Hugo Cabret is by far the longest and most involved book I’ve ever worked on. 
I live in Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.
For a complete list of all my books, click here.