Bulldog Library


on January 22, 2014

JF Selznick    •    Historical Fiction    •    Graphic Hybrid

Jacket.aspxMinnesota, 1977:  Following his mother’s death in a tragic car accident, Ben has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle.  Despite the fact that his aunt’s cabin is only 83 steps away from the home that he lived in with his mother, this new house is a world away from the life he once knew.  Then one fateful stormy night, Ben sees a light in his mother’s room.  Following this light becomes the first step in a journey to find the home where he truly belongs.

Hoboken, 1925:  Alone, with no one who she can talk to, Rose feels trapped in her tiny bedroom.  She looks out across the river to the lights of New York City and longs for someone to save her from the oppressive solitude.  Following these lights becomes the first step in a journey to find the home where she truly belongs.

Wonderstruck is told using the same innovative graphic-hybrid format and stunning rendering skill as Selznick’s award winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  It tells two intertwining stories.  Ben’s story, told entirely through text, is brilliantly paralleled by Rose’s story, told entirely through images.  As Ben is trapped in a thunderstorm, Rose watches a thunderstorm in a silent movie.  As Ben journeys through the natural history museaum, so too does Rose.  The exhibits being described in Ben’s story are seen in Rose’s.

In addition to being a poignant novel about two children’s search for love and family, Wonderstruck  introduces readers to deaf history and culture.  Wonderstruck is innovative and brilliantly told.  This is a book that is highly recommended for all readers!

Interest Level: grades 5-8  •  Lexile: 830L  •  AR: 5.4

2014 California Young Reader Winner

Selznick, B. (2011).  Wonderstruck.  New York, NY: Scholastic.


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