Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick review

 Wonderstruck, by the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an amazing novel, told not just in words but in 460 beautiful, detailed pictures. There are two seemingly separate stories of two children and their quests, one, Rose's story, set in 1927, told only in pictures. Rose is a deaf girl living in Hoboken, New Jersey, and she dreams of New York City (the picture clues tell us she can see it from her window) and a mysterious actress. She feels alone, and as she doesn't want to learn sign language, she can only communicate by writing. She finds solace in books and building mini replicas of New York out of paper. 

Then there is Ben, whose story is mainly told in words. He lives in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, in 1977. His mother died three months ago, and he misses her terribly.  He has  an odd dream of wolves, running in the moonlight. While staying at his cousins' (they live across from Ben's home he shared with his mother)
he sees a light in his mother's window. Curious, he investigates- and finds his cousin Janet is using the house to sneak away and smoke. Sad and hurt, Ben promises her he won't tell her parents if she won't come smoke again.  She tells him she misses his mom, too,and gives him some money she found in a drawer in the house. While there, Ben finds a mysterious book titled Wonderstuck, and an old card  and a photo from an intriguing man, that looks like Ben. The card and back of the photo are both signed "Danny". Could this be his father, the man his mom never spoke of ? When a accident damages Ben's already poor hearing, leaving him deaf and in a hospital, he runs away, embarking on a desperate quest to find his father*Spoiler alert!* Ben and Rose eventually meet and discover a connection you'd never dream they'd have...

So what are you waiting for? Go read Wonderstruck or the Invention of Hugo Cabret! I know you won't be disappointed!!
Have you read or are reading these? What do you think of them?

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