A Novel in Words and Pictures

Selznick, Brian

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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 is told in words; Rose's in pictures.

Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780545027892
Branch Call Number: J FIC S
Characteristics: 637 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

In two intertwining stories - one told in words and the other only in pictures - an orphan and a lonely deaf girl find common ground in New York City despite very different lives and experiences.

From the critics

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Jan 13, 2015

A truly magical read - drawings melting into diverging storylines. Seamless writing. Exciting book.

Dec 28, 2014

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is one of my favourite books because of the way that the story is told. The ‘creator’ Brian Selznick uses a mixture of words and illustrations to tell the story. One minute you’re reading the words and the next you’re looking at the amazing illustrations to try and piece the story together. Brian has used the same storytelling technique in his new book, Wonderstruck.

Wonderstruck is the story of two children, set fifty years apart. Ben’s story is told using words and is set in 1977 and Rose’s story is told completely in pictures and is set in 1927. Ben has never known his father, but when he discovers some clues in his mother’s bedroom to who his father is, Ben sets out on a journey to discover the truth. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook and Brian’s illustrations reveal her own journey.

Wonderstruck is an absolutely amazing book! I love the idea of telling two different stories in two different ways. When I was reading Ben’s story I could see the images in my head, but when I was ‘reading’ Rose’s story I was putting each of the images together to figure out her story. The book looks huge but I read it all in one go because over half the book is made up of Brian’s stunning illustrations. He only uses pencils, but he creates some unbelievable effects. When you look at the faces of the characters you can see exactly what they are feeling, whether it is excitement, anger or sadness. One of the pages is just someone pointing their finger and you know exactly what it means. Reading Rose’s story is like watching a silent movie because you have to work out what is happening yourself. Wonderstruck is one of those books that leave you smiling and you’ll want to read it again and again, just to enjoy Brian’s illustrations.

Recommended for 9+ 10 out of 10

Aug 02, 2014
  • mishamurali rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Brian Selznick strikes again! Wonderstruck has left me wonderstruck as well. There is beautiful imagery combined with writing. Two stories, two different ways of story-telling and one incredible bond!!!!

Jul 20, 2014
  • mehakpanglia rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is my all-time 5 ★☆★☆★ favorite ! I love this book and i want to read over again and again ! ☻

Jul 12, 2014
  • acciomanga rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I couldn't put the book down! I finished it in a day!

Jul 08, 2014
  • Marwa_1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is really interesting and kept me up reading it all night.

Jul 02, 2014
  • JennaSinnokrot rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Ilove this book because it tells emotion and its a wonderful story.

Apr 24, 2014
  • CRRL_CraigGraziano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The wolves will not stop chasing Ben through his dreams. They are wild and persistent, leaving paw prints in the snow next to Gunflint Lake, Minnesota: The boy's home. Jump back fifty years. Rose lives just outside of New York City, where the bright lights and tall towers tempt her to visit--much against her parents’ wishes. Though separated by time, Ben and Rose are both looking for a place where they can belong. Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/wonderstruck_selznick

Apr 06, 2014
  • JeanL rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book and so did my 7 year old. We especially loved the details in the illustrations after Ben meets Rose.

Jan 30, 2014

I haven't yet read Wonder Struck but my co-workers enjoyed it and say it is a must-read so I've added it to my list of books I intend to read in 2014.

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Sep 12, 2014

black_tiger_2585 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 28, 2014
  • orange_tiger_1474 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

orange_tiger_1474 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Oct 19, 2013
  • alizaaamir rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

alizaaamir thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 19, 2013

Tyler Janczak thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 40 and 40

May 11, 2013

blue_zebra_1043 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jan 05, 2013
  • andreajang rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

andreajang thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 36

Dec 11, 2012

Violet_Dog_654 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Oct 02, 2012

blue_dolphin_3478 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 70

Sep 30, 2012
  • theedancingqueen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

theedancingqueen thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 29, 2012
  • Dr_Inferno rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Dr_Inferno thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Jul 02, 2014
  • JennaSinnokrot rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book tells about two people that are deaf and about there story it was very hard.

Jun 13, 2014
  • Omadahl rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

One story told through pictures and the other through words. Selznick weaves the stories of Rose and Ben together beautifully. Ben, who is deaf in one ear, loses his mother and has to live with his aunt and uncle. Rose is also deaf and dreams of becoming an actress. Ben and Rose leave their homes in hope of finding what is missing in their lives.

Jun 04, 2014
  • ZanathShadow14 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ben and Rose are two very different children who have two things in common - they are both deaf and they both live with people who don't seem to understand them. Thought his might not seem to be much, these things are going to set them both on amazing adventures that will, in the end, leave them both - Wonderstruck.
Written with the same combination of engaging writing and beautifully rendered pencil drawings that captivated readers in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck takes you on a spectacular adventure that will leave you wanting more!

Mar 25, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ben: Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, June 1977. Rose: Hoboken, New Jersey, October 1927. Ben’s Story – written: Newly orphaned when his mother dies, Ben comes to believe that he has a father, hitherto unknown, living in New York City. When an accident involving a telephone and a bolt of lightning renders him deaf, he sets out for the big city in search of clues to who his father really is. Rose’s Story – seen almost solely in pictures: A seeming prisoner in her own home, Rose too sets out for New York City to see the actress Lillian Mayhew for reasons of her own. The two children both end up in The American Museum of Natural History and both discover something there that will help to give them what they need to solve their own problems. And in that discovery, they will find one another.


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Aug 04, 2014
  • mishamurali rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders.”


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