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 by Brian Selznick X
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Sep 2011, 608 pages

    Genres

  • 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 will 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" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Deaf Cinema

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Yonder
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...

  • Book Jacket: City Under One Roof
    City Under One Roof
    by Iris Yamashita
    When a disembodied arm and leg wash ashore in Point Mettier, Alaska, most residents assume they ...
  • Book Jacket: We Deserve Monuments
    We Deserve Monuments
    by Jas Hammonds
    Jas Hammonds' debut young adult novel We Deserve Monuments provides a fresh look at the coming-of-...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Mitford Affair
by Marie Benedict
An explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

    From two bestselling authors, the true story of the plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill.

  • Book Jacket

    Margot
    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks

    "Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I'd never turned before."—Barbara Kingsolver

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.