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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: 9/13/2011
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About the Book: Two kids, two stories set fifty years apart. Ever since his mom died, Ben feels alone. He misses his mom and wonders if his father is out there somwhere and if he even knows about him. When he finds a clue to that could lead him to his past, Ben has to take the chance to follow it.
Rose is home with her father, but she's lonely. She follows the career of a movie star and dreams of visiting New York. When a chance to escape arrives, Rose decides to take it.
Fifty years apart, two young children will find themselves on journeys full of wonder.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Wonderstruck is an amazing book and a must read of 2011! I wasn't sure how Brian Selznick would be able to top The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but somehow he managed to make his word and picture style feel fresh and new with Wonderstruck.
This time around, we have two parallel stories that are set fifty years apart. There are similarities between the stories that connect them. Both are children on a journey and both are seeking answers. Rose is deaf and Ben is deaf in one ear, but a recent accident has left him with little hearing in either ear. Rose's story is told in pictures, Ben's story in words. The stories are set years apart, but they slowly begin to weave together. The stories work well together as the journeys the characters are on are similar. The artwork is stunning and the attention to details is amazing. I could pour of the drawings in the book forever looking at all the added extras-and this was just the ARC version! I can't wait to see what the finished copy looks like!
The exploration of home and family is touching, but never in a cheesy way. The book could have come off corny, but it never does. We also get a glimpse of deaf culture, which is something I don't think is discussed very often in fiction. I think this could make a fantastic book group book, especially with middle grade/tween readers, as I think they will relate to Ben and Rose and their coming of age journeys. There's also a great activity that readers can do with this book-Ben keeps his own memory box and personal museum. I think this could be a great activity for tweens to get them thinking about objects they would put in their own memory box museum.
Ben finds himself at the Museum of Natural History, and of course, any book that has kids running away to a museum must have a nod to The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The author hides several references to Jamie, Claudia and Mrs. Basil E, which adds a fun extra to the book as the readers hunts them down.
A wonderful book that is sure to excite readers. I wonder if Wonderstruck will find it's way to any of the ALA Award lists come Janurary-I wouldn't be surprised if it did. I think tweens especially will devour this one! Wonderstruck is a book to be loved and savored over multiple readings.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by the publisher