Cristov's Reviews > Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
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Dec 12, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery-thriller, young-adult, wishlist, public-library
Read from December 10 to 12, 2011

Once again Selznick weaves historical elements around a simple focal point. In The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the focal point was the magic of film and this time he uses museums. In both stories, the protagonist is a young boy facing extreme challenges to find their place in the world and unlocking the secrets of their past.

Wonderstruck begins shortly after Ben's mother dies in a car accident and he a string of events sends him on a quest to find the father he knows nearly nothing about. He leaves Minnesota and heads for New York City with just a locket with a man's picture, a first name, an old address, a book about museum and a bookmark from a used book store.

Once again Selznick employs his own beautiful sketches to tell broad swaths of story but this time the first part of the book tells the story of a girl 50 years in the past obsessed with a famous actress of film and stage. The connection between the girl and Ben blossoms slowly but movingly.

Wonderstruck isn't as immediate as Hugo but once again Selznick brings a sense of childhood awe that I wonder if it still exists for kids today. That sense of grand adventure that comes when the world seems so much bigger and life didn't seem to be a gallop pace. I wonderful way to reconnect not only with history but our own childhood.
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