Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marvels” as Want to Read:
The Marvels
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marvels

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  15,828 ratings  ·  2,533 reviews
The journey begins at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage.

Nearly a century later, runaway Joseph Jervis seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale's strange, b
Hardcover, 665 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Scholastic Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Marvels, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Anne /Aunt Franne My son is 9. He read it on his own and loved it so much that he recommended it to me.
Sarah Martinez The Guy Next to him because throughout the book it shows how he was madly in love with blink just as his Uncle Albert was in love with Billy

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting illustrations and a striking story. A true masterpiece.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
very very good
Mohammed Arabey
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
ربما المسرحية ليست عن المعجزات. لا،ربما هي عن مرور الزمن وضرورة الصبر والقدرة علي التسامح"
ربما شكسبير اراد ان يقول لنا ان حتي في عالم تحدث به معجزات سيظل هناك ..وجع، وفقدان، وندم

وهذه الرواية من فصلين؛ الأول من القرن 18، عن المسرح والبحارة..مسرحيات شكسبير وهمس الجنون..عن توالي الأجيال وملامح البشر المتعادة في المواليد
والفصل الثاني بشخصيات اخري معاصرة، فتي يبحث عن مغامرة وكشف غموض عائلته، وخال غريب الأطوار يعيش كأنه بالقرن التاسع عشر

"فأحيانا يموت البعض ولا نستطيع إعادتهم للحياة..فهذه هي الحياة،
Whitney Atkinson
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This was great! Pretty atmosphere and symbolic, which made the book so meaningful and beautiful to read. I loved how the illustrations were woven into the story and the intricacies that went along with it, and this was definitely a well-done book that I'd recommend! Selznick is just a genius.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just...I can't even...It's so hard to find the perfect words to describe how I felt about this book.

I read both Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret and I loved both of them so much. Ever since those books, I couldn't stop thinking about how powerful they were. Brian Selznick is one of the most unique authors that I have read from. He uses pictures and words in a beautiful way and the stories connect and everything slides into place.

All of his books have a powerful meaning to the
Richard Denney
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-favorites
**** re-read in January 2019.

I will more than likely read this again this year because it's such a good read. If you're looking for something cozy and beautiful, read this now!

First read in 2015-
It was cozy, beautiful, magical, fantastic, heartbreaking, and amazing. I also didn't know that it's LGBT too. How awesome!! I'll talk about it more in my book thoughts video for it coming soon to my channel!
C.G. Drews
First of all...OUCH. This book was as heavy as trying to hold a small pile of elephants whilst reading a book. It actually physically hUUUUURT my hands. Oh the suffering I go through for books. *flings hand to head dramatically* Anyway. I have mixed feelings about the book itself. While I 100% believe this book is a work of art...I failed to connect to it on ANY level. In fact, the second half of the story basically felt ridiculous and just...what was the point?! You see how awkward this makes t ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
2.5 stars

Obviously Selznick does amazing things. His art is fantastic and I love that he basically writes highly sophisticated picture books. I’d love to see more books follow his example actually. That said, I didn’t find the story contained in The Marvels particularly compelling.

There’s actually not really a plot here at all. I mean, there’s the pseudo-mystery of Joseph’s uncle’s house, but really not much happens in this book at all. There’s something aged about this book, and I don’t mean th
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, kidlit

I've seen some people who don't love this book, and their reasons seem to mostly be because it's different from his others. Instead of the pictures being intermingled with the text, there is one complete story told in pictures for the first 2/3rds of the pages, then a story entirely in text for the rest of the book. But there's a reason why, and the reason is a very startling twist, and I loved it.

His prose is very straightforward, simple really, and almost as quick to read as the
jv poore
I believe that, right before blowing out every single candle on the cake, a young reader somewhere made a spectacular wish for a book filled with gorgeous illustrations and a fabulous, fanciful story rich with quirky characters, adventure and mystery. Mr. Selznick fulfilled this wish in grand fashion.

To open The Marvels is to be immediately immersed in a harrowing adventure at sea. In the blink of an eye….or to be precise, the turn of several pages, invested in the story of a shipwreck with spun
Monica Edinger
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
my blog review.

Brian Selznick is one of the great artists of our time. In what is now a trilogy (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, and now The Marvels ) he has created a unique storytelling style, one that blends illustration and text in an engrossingly original way. It is an aesthetic and emotive experience not like that of a graphic novel, but one closer to a cinematic viewing experience or a theatrical one; the three books are rich with scenes of powerful beauty created with paper
Oh wow, that was really something. This might just be my new favourite Brian Selznick book.
Mayra Sigwalt
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: livros-que-tenho
Mais um livro lindo do Brian Selznick! Tanto esteticamente quanto a história que está sendo contada. Uma coisa que gosto muito nos livros dele, é o entrelaçar de histórias e como há sempre uma criança tentando se encontrar no meio de tudo isso. Gosto também que em cada livro ele trabalhou uma temática cultural. Em A Invenção de Hugo Cabret foi o cinema, em Sem Fôlego foram os museus, e agora o teatro. A historia dessa família é muito instigante, mas a história dentro da história é a que toca o c ...more
Another wonderful, unique book with wonderful storylines and beautiful illustrations. After around half the book being a story of illustrations and no text, we meet Joseph, a run away, equally unhappy at school as at home, he has uninterested parents who are not present in his life and he doesn't fit in at school. Running away he reaches his uncle Andrew, whose artistic, museum like house gives Joseph a safe haven, a place to fit in and a mystery to solve. A book about discovering who you are an ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was magnificent and is solidly tied with Wonderstruck (also by Selznick) for my favourite of his three books. This one is formatted slightly differently from the previous two becuase it's half told in pictures and half told in text, but unlike his previous works the pictures do not dissect the text, rather there is one section of solid imagery and one section of solid text.

This is the story of the Marvels, a family of actors with great notoriety and a wonderful past on the stage. This
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Continuing his unique theme of storytelling, Selznick takes his readers on a dual adventure told in pictures and then words. The first adventure is experienced solely in pictures and begins in 1776 on a ship named the Kraken. After a massive storm, there is only a single survivor: Billy Marvel. The pictures tell of his story, how he came to be connected to the Royal Theatre in London, and how subsequent generations became well-known actors with their own story to tell. The visually impressive il ...more
Brian Selznick has made a 3rd masterpiece in a row. This book is about good stories, Shakespeare, Ships, and hard life experiences. I like how straight forward the gay uncle is presented. This book is about layers and creating your own life. The art is beautiful in the book and the outside is gorgeous also. I will miss having this story to read. It was incredible. It is so well told - really. If you are going to read any middle grade, try Brian Selznick after Harry Potter. Also, if you like grap ...more
Kayla Edwards
Don't let the length of time I spent on this book fool you, we were right in the middle of end-of-the-year school madness so I was forced to put it (and everything else) down for a while. This book was incredible. I loved everything about it - hands down my favorite from Selznick yet. I had no idea where this was going, none at all. I thought I had it figured out but I was so very far from close. When I had to put it down halfway through due to work, I thought I knew where it was going so imagin ...more
Shoa Khan
I sometimes feel that Brian Selznick doesn't belong to this era. How he manages to find all these interesting true stories and characters is beyond me.
Told in his signature style, the story of the Marvels is seeped in old-world charm. This book features two intertwined stories from two different centuries - one in prose and the other entirely in pictures. As always, the illustrations are intricately beautiful.

And the story is about as mysterious as it gets. Although I felt the mystery bit was
Suad Shamma
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2015
I was very disappointed by this book. Perhaps I should have read more into it before blindly buying it, but I bought it spontaneously because of the beautiful cover and the mysteriously magical synopsis. Also Brian Selznick is known for his fantastical stories, such as Hugo, and I expected no less from this one.

I was all set to read about this family's eccentric life of theatre and peculiar characters and the mysteries behind the house and so on. Instead, all I got was this strangely boring sto
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure about reading this book since I am one of the few people who wasn't bowled over by another of the author's books, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I enjoyed the illustrations in that book, but I thought the characters and the story lacked depth. Not so in the case of this book which had not one but two stories to tell, each of them amazing in their own right, and doubly so as they intertwined. Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about them without spoiling things. But what I will say ...more
“That’s what life is, Joseph realized, miracles and sadness, side by side.”

I fell in love with Brian Selznick's artwork in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which I think is the reason I keep coming back to read his new books. I love the way his sketchbook-style, beautiful charcoal drawings resemble movie scenes, with the pages zooming in on characters' expressions.

 photo image_zpswhyf6br3.jpg

There are pages and pages of these wonderful drawings.

 photo image_zpsgn6hz4a1.jpg

The thing is, although I've always found Selznick's artwork stunning, his stor
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Este é um daqueles livros que não tenho palavras para descrever. Acabei-o durante a semana e aguardei até hoje para tentar escrever algo sobre ele e, mesmo assim, não consigo.... muito bem.

Não há nada que eu posso dizer sobre ele, só expressar através das CINCO estrelinhas que lhe atribuí, as minhas primeiras do ano corrente.

Acrescento ainda que o próprio livro enquanto objecto é de uma construção brilhante.
Com margens douradas e com desenhos a carvão levam a experiência de leitura a um outro n
Simona Stoica
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recenzia completă:

„- Chiar şi un ceas defect arată ora corectă de două ori pe zi.”

În spatele cortinei, costumele îi așteaptă pe artiști. Replicile sunt rostite în şoaptă, cuvintele sunt absorbite de hârtie și de suflet. Cerneala se usucă pe anunțurile de la casa de bilete. Titluri imense sunt imprimate pe afișe, cronici și critici, promisiunile unei noi capodopere. Actorii se ascund în cabinele de probă sau îşi întâlnesc fanii în culise, entuziasmaţi şi înfricoşaţi în ega
Roberta Frontini (Blogue FLAMES)
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Posso dizer que este livro é MARAVILHOSO e que foi dos melhores livros da VIDA? POSSO??? POSSO??? <3
Rita Araújo
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Em estado de ENCANTAMENTO total <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Selznick has done it again!!!

Creating stories within stories and doing it in such a genius and beautiful way.

He is a master and this is another of his masterpieces!

One of, if not the best book I've read this year! ❤❤❤
Abby Johnson
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Trust in Selznick.
I struggled with the story a little bit in the middle of the text part. I felt lost and confused.... but hold on because Selznick brings it around in the end and what he has created here is pretty amazing.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely beautiful. The drawings and the story were amazing and very engaging. And the fact that it was so meta just topped it off for me.
Holiday BookTubeAThon Read #3
Well this was a strange one. The best I can say is the artwork was lovely. The first 400 pages of pencil sketches outline an interesting story of the Marvel family and spans a period of time from the 1760s until 1900. I liked where this story was going, it seemed to promise adventure, theatrical shenanigans and a kind of earnest delight in all things English. Selznick sketches facial features extremely well, particular adorable babies.

The remainder of the book unfortunately reverts to what I fou
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MCLS Reading Chal...: Book I started but never finished 1 5 Oct 01, 2018 01:28PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: The Marvels 1 12 Jun 05, 2016 07:32PM  
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)
  • The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (Family Fletcher, #1)
  • Sunny Side Up
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (Unusual Chickens #1)
  • Booked
  • Raymie Nightingale
  • Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)
  • Chasing Secrets
  • Roller Girl
  • Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (Better Nate Than Ever #2)
  • Under the Egg
  • Circus Mirandus
  • Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy, #2)
  • The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #2)
  • Listen, Slowly
  • Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye
  • Some Kind of Courage
  • Full Cicada Moon
Hello there. My name is Brian Selznick and I’m the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was born in 1966 in New Jersey. I have a sister who is a teacher, a brother who is a brain surgeon, and five nephews and one niece. I studied at The Rhode Island School of Design and after I graduated from college I worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. I learned all about ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Maybe the play wasn't about miracles. No, maybe it was about the passage of time, and the need for patience, and the ability to forgive. Maybe Shakespeare was saying that even in a world where miracles can happen, there's still going to be pain, and loss, and regret. Because sometimes people die and you can't bring them back. That's what life is Joseph realized, miracles and sadness, side by side.” 12 likes
“Time is supposed to move forwards.'

'What if I don't like what happens?'

' change it.”
More quotes…