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Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick

WonderstruckWonderstruck by Brian Selznick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If you look at my reviews and ratings, you'll notice I almost never give a book 5 stars. I also don't review books that I absolutely can't stand (though I may rate them), because I don't see the point of trashing someone in public. But here, for Wonderstruck, is one of my oh-so-rare 5-star ratings. Why?

First of all, you have to give Brian Selznick big kudos for essentially creating a new genre--the picture book for big kids. Secondly, he has a rare gift for storytelling: Working in basic, yet somehow luminous language, Selznick spins two tales, one through pictures, and one through words. The first is about Ben, who in 1977 has recently lost his mother and doesn't know his father. When he discovers clues about his dad's identity, he has to follow them--and so do we. The second story tells how Rose, a young deaf girl in 1927, feels isolated and trapped in her silent world. She too makes a journey and tries to connect to her parents. Woven into both of these tales is the marvelous, sprawling city of New York, its museums, and their endless wonders.

With drawings so exquisite you feel like you're living inside them, and words so perfect you wish you had written them, Selznick tells another great story backed by his boundless curiosity and careful research. I was just as enchanted with this book as I was with The Invention of Hugo Cabret.



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