Thursday, March 8, 2012
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Publish Date: September 13, 2011
You might recognize the author's name because he won a Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I haven't read that one yet, but I plan to.
In this book, you get two stories in one - one told in pictures, one told in words - one set in 1927, one set in 1977.
Ben lives in 1977 and is deaf in one ear and has just lost his mother. He's lonely, confused and wants to know about his father, but no one has any answers. He has an accident and is suddenly deaf in both ears. BUT he's found a clue to his father and he runs away to New York City.
Rose lives in 1927 and is completely deaf. She lives with her father, her brother lives in New York City. She's obsessed with an actress and when she sees an article about the actress performing in NY, she runs away to see her.
The characters end up in many of the same places and slowly their paths get closer.
The pencil drawings are amazing and each series tell a perfect story. There's so much detail in each picture, I spent ages looking at everything in the picture, there's all kinds of little touches that make them special.
Both stories show how each child wants desperately to fit in and how they miss having a loving parent. Most reviews I read noted that this book should be for elementary school, but I disagree. I think that a lot of the nuances would be lost on the younger children. Yes, younger children would love the story and the art, but teens and adults would also love it. Heck, I'm very much an adult and I spent an entire day gazing at the art and anxious to know what happened to Ben and Rose. When their paths collide, look out!