Fans of The Invention of Hugo Cabret will probably want to read Brian Selznick's newest book, Wonderstruck. Like Hugo, Wonderstruck is an illustrated novel. Almost half of the story (by my reckoning) is revealed solely through the illustrations. The prose sections are set in 1977, our narrator is a young boy named Ben still mourning the death of his mother. He's been living with his aunt and uncle and cousins. But. He feels like he doesn't quite belong, at least not yet. He is curious, most curious, about his father. At the beginning, he doesn't have a clue who his father is, where his father is now, why his parents never married OR never stayed together, why his mother never answered any of his questions, etc. But one stormy, stormy night all that changes when he finds a book and a bookmark. He sees a name and a number; it's his first clue. Unfortunately, well, things don't quite go as planned when he dials the number...
The second story is set in the late 1920s. This story is revealed solely through the illustrations. (Though some of the illustrations include written words.) Readers meet a beautiful young girl who is horribly lonely. Her name is Rose and her secret is gradually revealed to readers.
Wonderstruck is about belonging: wanting to belong, needing to belong, longing to belong. It is about loneliness and isolation. It is about friendship and family and finding your community--a place where you do belong, do feel welcome.
I did enjoy this one. I didn't love it. I wasn't amazed by it. But I did like it.
- If you are a fan of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
- If you have a special fondness for museums, especially New York museums
- If you have an interest in art, in nature, in drawing nature and wildlife
- If you are interested in Deaf culture and want to read more about what it is like to be deaf.