Rebecca Sofferman's Reviews > Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
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's review
Apr 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: elementary
Read in April, 2012

This is my new favorite book! Similar to Selznick's Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck is a novel in both words and pictures. However, the pictures in this book tell a separate and parallel story, which intrigues the reader from the start.

Ben's mother has recently died, leaving him in the care of his aunt and uncle who luckily live next door to his cabin in Gunflint Lake, MN. One night, during a storm, Ben returns to his old house and begins to dig through his mother's things for clues about who his father might have been. Ben experiences a life-altering event, and embarks on a journey of discovery that will turn his entire world around.

This book is so aptly named, because the reader is left feeling wonderstruck. It is a brilliant tapestry of interesting storylines, woven tightly, including museum curation, the New York Museum of Natural History, Deaf culture, Minnesota wolves, the City of New York in both 1927 and 1977, the 1964 World's Fair, The Queens Museum of Art, family, and friendship. I loved the concept of curating one's own life: "Ben remembered reading about curators in Wonderstruck, and thought about what it meant to curate your own life, as his dad had done here. What would it be like to pick and choose the objects and stories that woul go into your own cabinet? How would Ben curate his own life? (pg 574)" Fantastic story on so many levels. I also love how Selznick used the acknowledgments section to describe his research - great for kids to see how much work goes into a book! This book would be a fantastic teaching tool. It's one story that will occupy my thoughts for a long time to come.

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