Rated Best Children's Book of 2011 by BookBrowse Members
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 mothers 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--Bens told in words, Roses 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.
Like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this will be an instantly successful book for children and adults...It is built on the bones of several quite sturdy ideas—about deaf culture, about museums and collections, about missing parents and lonely, fiercely intelligent children—but it moves by emotion. Sometimes Selznick's art is dazzling in its textured complexity, as when he portrays the historically accurate interior of the AMNH, and other times, it is the simplicity of a single image that startles the eye and the heart. The end of the book is a pure triumph. (Reviewed by Amy Reading).
New York Times - Adam Gopnik
[E]ngrossing, intelligent, beautifully engineered and expertly told both in word and image.
NPR - Dan Kois
[E]verything, and everyone, has a proper place, Wonderstruck reassures readers; you just have to find it. Brian Selznick's lovely story will likely find its own place in the hearts of young people who yearn for a world of their own.
School Library Journal
The dual text/illustration format is not a gimmick when used to tell the right stories; the combination provides an emotional experience that neither the words nor the illustrations could achieve on their own. Grades 4-8.
Starred Review. Visually stunning, completely compelling, Wonderstruck demonstrates a mastery and maturity that proves that, yes, lightning can strike twice. Ages 9+
Starred Review. Selznick follows his Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret with another illustrated novel that should cement his reputation as one of the most innovative storytellers at work today.
Selznick provides detailed, naturalistic, black pencil drawings that create gray, almost photographic scenes of buildings and people with a sense of mystery. We are swept into the powerful visual story as the point of view zooms in or out.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by KerryAnna Wonderstuck I love this book it's one of my favorite books I ever read I just love it
Rated of 5
by jackie:) cool It's pretty great! :)
Rated of 5
by katie best book I love the book my teacher is reading it to us it's the best one ever!
Brian Selznick has said that one of his inspirations for Wonderstruck was the documentary Through Deaf Eyes, and the knowledge that the transition from silent movies to "talkies" was disastrous for deaf people. Cinema had been a way for deaf people to record their stories in sign language, as well as participate in mass culture through a shared visual medium. It gave deaf actors the opportunity to play both deaf and hearing characters. The Jazz Singer changed all of that in 1927. It was the first feature film with dialogue and singing synchronized with the action. By 1929, the transition to sound was mostly complete. Despite activism by the National Association for the Deaf, the Motion Picture Association of America does not require captioning for mainstream movies in theaters.
Deaf cinema - the definition of which is controversial but, in essence, encompasses films intended for a deaf audience - has continued as a small subculture with its own visual vocabulary for transferring sign language and deaf experiences into film....
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