Wonderstruck (a novel in words and pictures)
Author: Brian Selznick
Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Published September 13, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 640 in the advanced reader's copy
Genre: fiction/general ages 9 and up (grades 4 and up)
Sneak peak: http://www.scholastic.com/wonderstruck/index.html
Interesting note: this novel is dedicated to the children's author Maurice Sendak.
Author Brian Selznick is the award winning author/illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret (now in theatres as of this posting).
My review of Wonderstruck:
Rose keeps a scrapbook with news clippings of a famous actress, Lillian Mayhew, her mother. Deaf and left behind, Rose yearns for a feeling of belonging. Her adventures begin when she leaves home in search of her mother.
Ben is alone. Well, not really. He does live with his aunt and uncle and cousins. His mother was killed in a car crash and he has never known his father. Feeling particularly lonely one day, during a storm, Ben goes to his former home, to his mother's room, cherishing memories and the feeling of her near. He finds here clues which he believes will lead him to his father. As lightning strikes the house, Ben is subsequently struck and cannot hear. He awakes in a hospital in another city. As luck would have it, he makes his escape and goes on a hunt for his dad.
Fifty years apart, the two stories, Rose's told in pictures and Ben's told in written form, are told separately but together until they converge as one meets the other in a happy union. (spoiler alert)
Having not read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I wasn't sure if this book was a continuation of the same or a stand alone. The two are indeed separate. Brian Selznick incorporates his incredible artistry through both books which is sure to capture the attention and imagination of young and older readers alike. Wonderstruck is suitable for boy or girl and many a parent will enjoy reading and discussing this story with their child/ren. That's one thing I particularly enjoyed - the potential for discussion as parents and children share this wondrous story. If you know a reluctant reader, I recommend Wonderstruck. The illustrations will grab their attention and the story will anchor it.