Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (review#139)

Title: Wonderstruck

Author: Brian Selznick
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Copy obtained at Midwest Booksellers Association Trade Show from the wonderful folks at Scholastic!

I am making another exception to my review rule by reviewing this wonderful Young Adult novel. No, it doesn't fall under my Top 3 Genres I love to read and have dedicated to reviewing on this blog but it is one of my favorite young adult authors. I was very fortunate to obtain an ARC of this at BEA this year. I was also fortunate again to receive a finished copy at MIBA just last month. I am sharing one of my copies with my good friend, Dawn and we are heading to seem Mr. Selznick speak at a local Barnes and Noble on Monday, October 17. I can not wait!

If you have not heard of him or his wonderful novels, check out his website. His novel The Invetion of Hugo Cabret has been made into a movie and looks amazing! The trailer is below if you are curious. I am sure someone will snap up Wonderstruck. If done well, I am sure it would make a marvelous movie. It is certainly a marvelous book!

Here is a description from the publisher's website:
Ben's story takes place in 1977. Rose's story takes place in 1927. Ever since his mother died, Ben feels lost. At home with her father, Rose feels alone. When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mother's room, and when a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose, both children risk everything to find what's missing.

You really feel you are holding a literary gem when you hold one of his books. His illustrations are exquisite and so detailed. The illustrations alone tell such a powerful story. Ben's story is told in words. Rose's story is told in pictures. They eventually come together in the end. I am amazed at each page. The story is a simple one, with sweet characters, New York City, museums and a mystery to solve. I read the book in three days because I was racing to the end to discover the fate of young Ben. I smiled as I turned the last page and wandered back in my mind to being a child, curious and hopeful.

Rating: 6/6
I give this my top rating. Putting "genre labeling" aside, it is simply an exquisite piece of literary work. Selznick's gift of just pure, simple storytelling comes through, laced through with his extraordinary illustrations. You almost feel as if you are seated in a movie theater seeing a silent movie. Your attention is so focused to the little things, no noises to distract you, yet you are bounced back and forth between reading the words and capturing the power of a picture. Trust me. Read it. You'll understand. I'm just a bumbling idiot when it comes to his work. i just love it so! Hopefully I will be able to hold it in when I meet him tomorrow. :)

Publisher Website:

Movie Trailer:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds terrific. I can not wait for this book. I loved Hugo :)

Jenny said...

Did you say New York City? Lol.. I think it sounds good anyway. The fact that it is told in two different POVs one in pictures and one in words intrigues me. I'd heard so many good things about his last book and didn't realize it was told partly in pictures. I'm totally interested in this book and that one now though!

Okie said...

I recently finished Hugo Cabret and absolutely LOVED it. The dualism of the story in Wonderstruck has me intrigued.

I'm fairly certain this will land on my bookshelf before too long. If it's anything like Hugo, it will be a "must read"

christa @ mental foodie said...

I haven't heard of him until recently (from my library's blog). Have reserved both this and the Hugo books. We'll see if it's for me!

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

it is such a beautiful book and an incredible story! i'm glad you loved it too!

Marie Cloutier said...

wow, sounds phenomenal! I'll keep myey e out!

Gina said...

I've always wondered about these books. Thanks for the insight! Certainly adds to the recent rumblings of goodness I've heard surrounding this latest release. ^_^

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I really want to read Hugo before the movie. I think my boys would like it. This is another one I'll have to check out. Great review!

I finally have your button in my sidebar!

Anonymous said...

I've had my eye on this one for a while, and have even come close to buying a copy of it from B&N. I don't know why but I always put it back now. Now you have me convinced that I need to go right back and pick it back up! Great review!

Marce said...

So wonderful a YA affected you, sounds brilliant.