Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

While this seems in some ways to be Selznick's follow-up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it really is a completely different book. There are two seemingly unrelated stories—one told in words and one told entirely in pictures. Ben is orphaned and living on the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota. After his mother dies he finds clues that lead him to look for the father he never knew. His quest eventually leads him to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The other story (entirely in pictures) is about a girl from the 1920s who is deaf and unhappy and goes on her own quest, also to New York City. The art is lovely and the story is lovely as well. As you might expect, the stories come together in a surprising way as you realize that each child is on a similar voyage of discovery. There are many layers to this book and while it is over 600 pages long, about two-thirds of the book is pictures so don't let its enormous size stop you from a wonderful read. It would make a nice read-aloud for families.

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