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Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures
Contributor(s): Selznick, Brian
ISBN: 0545027896     ISBN-13: 9780545027892
Publisher: Scholastic Pr
    OUR PRICE: $27.00  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: September 2011
Qty:
Annotation: Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story istold in words; Rose's in pictures.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Families; Fiction.
Diorama; Fiction.
Deaf; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries & Detective Stories
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2011009113
Lexile Measure: 830
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 2.00" (2.90 lbs) 637 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 146551
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 4.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q54272
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 7.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): IV>In addition to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick is the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winner, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and The New York Times Best Illustrated Walt Whitman: Words for America, both by Barbara Kerley, as well as the Sibert Honor Winner When Marian Sang, by Pam Muoz Ryan, and numerous other celebrated picture books and novels. Brian has also worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. When he isnt traveling to promote his work all over the world, he lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
Pictures follow a girl, Rose, in 1927; the text is set in 1977 where a boy, Ben, struggles with hearing loss. The two eventually meet: as an adult, Rose works at New York's Museum of Natural History, where Ben also finds himself. Ben's story suffers from an excess of telling rather than showing; nevertheless, there is much technical brilliance and genuine heart here. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #5)
With Wonderstruck's opening wordless sequence of an approaching wolf, readers might think they've embarked upon a Gary Paulsen novel, but this is a story not of wilderness adventure but of two young people running -- to New York City -- for their lives. The pictures (pencil, double-page spread, wordless) follow a young girl, Rose, living in material comfort but also emotional distress in 1927 Hoboken; the text is set in 1977 in Minnesota's Boundary Waters region, where a boy, Ben, struggles with the death of his mother and the loss of his hearing. Yes, Rose and Ben eventually meet, as do the text and pictures, but both stories are encumbered by the conclusion of the book, which, in resolving many themes and mysteries, dictates too much of what has gone before -- it feels as if the narrative was composed backward rather than arising organically from its beginnings. For example, Rose's childhood hobby of constructing model buildings from the pages of hated books doesn't seem to follow from anything, but it does give her an adult career at New York's Museum of Natural History, where Ben also finds himself after several similarly belabored circumstances. Still, there is much technical brilliance here, both in the segues between text and pictures and between the pictures themselves, as in a scene where Rose, locked in a room, seems to be contemplating the many photographs on a wall, but a page turn reveals that Rose has actually spotted a window -- and escapes. While Ben's story suffers from an excess of telling rather than showing, he (Rose, too) is openhearted and easy to love. The intricate puzzle-solving of the plot gets a generous and welcome shot of straightforward emotion when Ben is given an unabashedly romantic friendship with another boy, Jamie, with whom he experiences the wonders of the museum in secret and at night, a nod to E. L. Konigsburg that Selznick acknowledges in an informative closing note. roger sutton Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 July #3)

Selznick follows his Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret with another illustrated novel that should cement his reputation as one of the most innovative storytellers at work today. Ben and Rose are both hearing-impaired. He is 12 in 1977; she is the same age 50 years earlier. Selznick tells their story in prose and pictures beginning with Ben, living (unhappily) with his aunt and uncle, 83 steps from the Minnesota lake cabin he shared with his librarian mother until her death in a car accident three months earlier. He has never met his father, but has reason to believe he may live in New York. As in Hugo Cabret, a significant part of the story is told in sequential illustrations, most of which depict the even unhappier Rose, whose movie star mother has remarried, leaving her daughter with her ex-husband in New Jersey. Both children run away to Manhattan seeking something from their respective absent parents. It takes several hundred pages and a big chunk of exposition to connect these two strands, but they converge in an emotionally satisfying way. Selznick masterfully uses pencil and paper like a camera, starting a sequence with a wide shot and zooming in on details on successive pages. Key scenes occur when the runaways find themselves in one of Manhattan's storied museums, and with one character named Jamie, and Rose's surname being Kincaid, it's impossible not to think of E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, to which Selznick tips his hat in an author's note. Like that Newbery winner, Selznick's story has the makings of a kid-pleasing classic. Ages 9–up. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 August)

Gr 4–8—Using the format he so brilliantly introduced in The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic, 2007), Selznick tells two parallel stories. The first, taking place in 1977, is told through words. Ben Wilson lives in Gunflint, MN. His mother has just died, and he doesn't know the whereabouts of his father. Disaster ensues when Ben is struck by lightning and loses the hearing in his one good ear. He runs away from his aunt and uncle and goes in search of his father. Parallel to Ben's story, and told through illustrations, is the story of Rose, a deaf child who lives in Hoboken, NJ, in 1927, with her overbearing father. She lives in a room that feels more like a prison, where she keeps a scrapbook of her silent-film star mother and builds models of New York City. Both Ben and Rose escape to New York and are drawn to the American Museum of Natural History. It is there that they find the connections they are seeking. The way that the stories of Ben and Rose echo one another, and then finally connect, is a thing of wonder to behold. The dual text/illustration format is not a gimmick when used to tell the right stories; the combination provides an emotional experience that neither the words nor the illustrations could achieve on their own.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO

[Page 120]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.