Monday, November 28, 2011
review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
pub date: September 13, 2011
appeals: historical fiction, illustrations, adventure,
Brian Selznick is an amazingly creative person. I think this book and The Invention of Hugo Cabret are great works of art and literature. The format and the way he builds his stories is really cool. Wonderstruck takes two stories, one about a boy that is written in words, and another story about a girl that is shown by drawings. It's cool how they parallel each other, like in one story there's a lightning storm and then switches to the other story and there is also a lightening storm. Which was cool.
Whereas I think the format is cool and the art is great, I was less than impressed with the actual story. I just didn't find either of them very compelling. And when the two stories actually connect, there was a great info-dump to explain all of the illustrations and what they meant and how the two stories tie together. Which takes away from the magic. It would've been cool to figure things out within the story, and not have to be told everything at the end.
Still enjoyable and I think that a lot of middle graders (and their parents) will enjoy this book.
Two independent stories—Ben's told in words and 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.
Ever since his mom died, Ben feels lost.
At home with her father, Rose feels alone.
He is searching for someone, but he is not sure who.
She is searching for something, but she is not sure what.
When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mom's room,
When a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose.
Both children risk everything to find what's missing.
With over 460 pages of original drawings and playing with the form he invented in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Rich, complex, affecting and beautiful, Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.