Wonderstruck

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Wonderstruck
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 13, 2011
ISBN
9780545027892
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

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5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (2)
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5.0  (2)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Wonder Has Truly Struck

"I wish I belonged somewhere," ~Rose

Being a middle school teacher, I see many young people struggling to find out who there are, where they came from, and where they might be headed. In reflection, isn't that what everyone asks themselves from time to time whether they are 8, 13, or 75?

Imagine being alone in the world,being alone in a world of silence. Imagine searching for loved ones, discovering a world you never knew exsited. This is the world of Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck.

Wonderstruck is wonderfully crafted and illustrated. The illustrations, tells the story of Rose a deaf girl, who sets off on an adventure in New York City in 1927. Through the illustrations the reader is able to understand her story in the silence that covers her world. She is looking for answers- she wants to belong.

In words, we read about an orphan boy, Ben, who travels from Minnesota to New York in 1977 in search of his father, and winds up hiding inside the American Museum of Natural History.

The two story lines give clues throughout the novel providing lots of intriguing clues of what connections there might be before all is revealed in the novel's final conclusion.

I love Wonderstruck's narrators, Rose and Ben, who bring a fresh look to the world around us. This book definitely touched the heart.


Good Points
Even with two narrators- plot line is easy to follow.
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Will Leave You Wonderstruck!

Everybody longs to find a place where they belong and in Wonderstruck both Ben and Rose are trying to figure out where they fit into their own lives. Even though their stories are told fifty years apart they share striking similarities. Ben longs to find the father he's never met and Rose seeks the attention of a popular actress whose life she's chronicled in a scrapbook. The book flows easily back and forth between the two stories until they merge together creating one fluid ending.

Using The American Museum of Natural History in NYC as a backdrop, Brian Selznick uses beautiful drawings, complex characters and interesting historical facts to weave a tale that both entertains and challenges. The role of museum curator is a focal point and describes how their job is to decide what objects go into a display and how those objects are arranged. The idea that we can be the curator of our own lives is considered, in essence giving us the opportunity to pick and choose what stories will go into the display box that is our life. Will we put our best face forward and see where our dreams take us or allow our fear and something that others might view as a disability to define us?

I really enjoyed reading this book even if I did end up in tears by the end! It was a quick read and left me with a new perspective on those that are hearing impaired.

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Overall rating 
 
4.5
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4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Amazing! Most unique book ever


It’s hard to describe exactly what I felt while reading this book. Elation at the speed and ease of navigating 600+ pages? Burning biceps as I held the book to read (it weighs like 10 pounds—no lie!)? The thing that sticks with me most is the pictures. I loved seeing Rose’s story unfold with every page. It was a constant guessing game. I was captivated by the detail that went into every picture. When her story starts to blend with Ben’s story, it becomes this beautiful tale of finding where you belong. To be able to tell a story with so much passion with only black and white sketches, isamazing... Simply, amazing.





Ben’s story is very moving. The poor kid has a rough life and never feels like he belongs anywhere… until he runs away to NYC. It is in NYC that he begins to learn about his past and finds a way to belong in his new life. I really did love this story. It was simple, yet complex. For a MG book it’s pretty deep. Anyone that reads this novel will have mixed emotions. There are so many layers to navigate that it’s hard not to experience many things while you read. A+ novel. (So glad we picked this for book club this month!)

Good Points
Both stories are gripping.
Beautiful illustrations.
Most unique book I've ever read.
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