Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wonderstruck: An Amazing Reading Experience

Brian Selznick does it again:  for an evening, I became a child again, rediscovering the wonder of a book full of amazing illustrations and a story that kept me glued to the pages.

In Wonderstruck, Brian tells the dual stories of Ben and Rose.  Ben's story is told in words, while Roses' story--set in 1927, is told in drawings and no words.  We soon find out why:  Rose is deaf.  Ben lives in a small town in Minnesota in 1977, mourning the death of his mother, and feeling lost living with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.  One night, he sneaks over to his old home, and discovers a book hidden by his mother called Wonderstruck.  It's about curiosity cabinets--which were the beginning of museums--and soon has Ben absorbed in figuring out the origin of this book, and what secrets his mother was hiding from him.  What happens next?!  

I can't tell you anymore.  Seriously.  It would give too much of the story away.  You can read this book in about an hour, since so much of Roses' story is told in full page black and white pencil drawings.  The two stories weave in and out of each other, until you reach the end and, sadly, finish the last page.  This is a wonderful book to read with your kids, or savor for  yourself.  If you haven't read Selznick's first book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, well, get thee to a bookstore!  It is just as wonderful as his second novel (and it won the Caldecott).  

Magical, emotional, full of wonder--this book will turn you back into a young child again, if just for awhile.  It reminded me of that sense I had as a child of the world being HUGE, and full of so many amazing things.  It's a sense of wonder that we lose as adults.  Thank you, Brian Selznick, for bringing that feeling back to this adult on a late summer night with a cool night breeze and the sounds of crickets flitting through my windows. A night where a person can be wonderstruck.   

This book will be available nationwide on September 13th.  

1 comment :

  1. I love your book recommendations but I have so many lined up to read that I almost don't know how to handle any more suggestions. AHHH! Darn wedding, trying to write a book, and life getting in the way of reading. No fair.