Reading guide for Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Wonderstruck

by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Sep 2011, 608 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. How does Ben feel about living with his aunt and uncle and sharing a room with his cousin? Describe his feelings when he finds Janet in his mother’s house at night. Why is he so affected by the locket and the book he finds in his mother’s room?

  2. What are the early connections between Ben’s story and Rose’s story? Discuss how those connections—the places where they feel trapped, their loneliness, the storms and lightning—help to illuminate and expand on the individual stories.

  3. Discuss the meaning of the quote Ben’s mother liked: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” How does the quote relate to each of the stories? How many ways does star imagery come into Ben’s story and Rose’s story?

  4. When do we first learn that Rose is deaf? How does that revelation intersect with Ben’s story? Discuss the events that compel each of them to run away. How are their experiences similar and how are they different?

  5. Compare Rose’s encounter with her mother to Ben’s first experiences in New York. Why does Rose run away from her mother? Why does Ben run away from the boy who tries to help him? What draws both Ben and Rose to the museum?

  6. Compare the powerful experiences Ben and Rose have with the meteorite Ahnighito and the wishes they make.

  7. Why does Jamie lead Ben to the wolf exhibit? Why does Ben decide to trust Jamie, and later, why does he become angry with Jamie?

  8. How does the storytelling structure in the book change when Ben finally finds Kincaid’s Bookstore? Describe Rose’s feelings when she sees Ben and realizes who he might be. Describe Ben’s feelings when he realizes his connection to Rose.

  9. Discuss Ben’s thought that “maybe we are all cabinets of wonders” [p. 574]. What does he mean? What does the Cabinet of Wonders in his father’s book and in the storage room at AMNH represent to Ben? Why is he so drawn to the idea of those early museums?

  10. Why is it important for Rose to take Ben to the Queens Museum to tell him the story of his father? What does the Panorama mean to her and how does it relate to her childhood? Why does Jamie follow them?

  11. Compare Ben’s experience during the blackout in Minnesota when he is home alone with the blackout in New York when he is with Rose. What do you think Ben’s next chapter will be—staying in New York or returning to Minnesota?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Scholastic. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Deaf Cinema

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Stalin's Daughter
    by Rosemary Sullivan
    "There is something fatal about my life. You can't regret your fate, though I do regret my ...
  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Spinster
by Kate Bolick

A bold, original, moving book that will inspire fanatical devotion and ignite debate.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!