by Brian Selznick


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In this groundbreaking tour de force, Caldecott Medalist and bookmaking pioneer Brian Selznick sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruckis a stunning achievement from a gifted artist and visionary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545027892
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 62,254
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 2.30(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, Wonderstruck, adapted into Todd Haynes's eponymous movie, and The Marvels. Among the celebrated picture books Selznick has illustrated are the Caldecott Honor Book The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, and the Sibert Honor Book When Marian Sang by Pam Muñoz Ryan. His books appear in over 35 languages. He has also worked as a bookseller, a puppeteer, and a screenwriter. He divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and San Diego, California.


Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California

Date of Birth:

July 14, 1966

Place of Birth:

New Jersey


Rhode Island School of Design

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Wonderstruck 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Shanella More than 1 year ago
Two stories, set fifty years apart; interwoven. One told through pictures and the other told through words. The first story is of Ben, a young boy in the 1977 who just lost his mother and sets out to look for his father. The second story follows Rose, a young girl from 1927's New Jersey who sets out to look for her idol, a movie star. Both children's search take them to New York City. Both children - deaf - are struggling to find what they are looking for in a world where hearing is normal and sometimes taken for granted. In a sense, they end up mirroring each other's search and face similar hardships. How their lives intertwine in the end, though I was able to guess, was still very bittersweet. I enjoyed the illustrations immensely. Brian Selznick sets out to tell a story through his pictures and he succeeds. The details in some of the pictures were amazing. I found myself looking forward to Rose's story even though I loved reading Ben's. Brian also gives the reader a glimpse into Deaf culture, a culture that I've never experienced, and opened my eyes to a different lifestyle. I appreciated the way he told the story, giving the reader a glimpse into a world that some might not be familiar with. The story also echos with the longing we all have to belong somewhere, to be a part of something. Wonderstruck is, at it's core, a story of acceptance and community. It's quite relatable and because of this, I think many people will enjoy reading it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Gold Star Award Winner! Ben, a young boy, feels lost and alone ever since the death of his mother. Even though he lives with his aunt and uncle, he doesn't feel like he belongs. When loneliness get too much, Ben sneaks next door to the house he lived in with his mother and begins to look for something, anything to make him feel better. When he finds a mysterious note that could possibly lead him to the father he's never known, he has to make the decision whether to follow his heart or stay where he is. Rose, a young girl, feels lost and alone in a house with her stern father. With her mother out of the picture and her older brother living in New York, she is completely cut off from everyone. After one too many disagreements with her father, Rose decides to strike out on her own to New York City to find some peace of mind. Both Ben and Rose find themselves at the American Museum of Natural History - only 50 years apart. Ben's story takes place in 1977 and Rose's story takes place in 1927. Ben's story is told in words, while Rose's story is told in pictures. Brian Selznick does a masterful job combining two journeys to create one amazing story. A winner!
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Ben is going through his mother's old belongings when a storm brews and lightning strikes the house. The force of the lightning goes through the phone he is holding against his ear, rendering him deaf. Instead of letting this setback in hearing bring him down, Ben decides that this is the perfect time for him to go to New York to try and find his father. Once there, he follows the tiny clues he has, until a chance encounter with a stranger from his past changes his life forever. Selznick's first book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is all but a common sight in middle grade schools. I was a little late reading it, thinking that all of the hype was just that, but when I did finally read it, I was completely blown away. The beauty of the drawings and timing in the pictures, mixed with the fascinating story of a boy and clockwork things was enough to keep me glued to the book. Now with Selznick's second book, I was hoping lightning would strike twice. Unfortunately, while the drawings and timing still had that "tear-through-the-book" quality, the story wasn't as interesting for me. There is a breakneck speed at which the plot unfolds, but I never really felt invested in the characters enough to care about what was happening to them. Readers will be captivated by the silent action that unfolds for a magical reunion, but I am hoping Selznick's next book packs a little more punch.
miamimom More than 1 year ago
A perfect novel! I loved the parallel stories that come together at the end! The illustrations were just beautiful and the story was captivating! Not just for children but for any age! Highly recommend it!
Genna_Sarnak More than 1 year ago
Twelve-year-old Ben Wilson lives as an orphan with his aunt and uncle in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota in 1977. His mother was tragically killed in a car accident and he never knew his father. Missing his mom one night during a terrible storm, Ben sneaks out of his aunt's house into his mom's old room. There, he discovers a puzzling book with a postcard and address in New York City. With a strong sense of longing for the man he’s never known, Ben sets out, alone, on a quest to find his dad. Twelve-year-old Rose Kincaid is a deaf girl who lives with her father in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1927. She dreams about a mysterious silent film star and longs to travel to New York City to see the actress in person. Her father won’t let her go, so Rose sneaks out of her house and finds a way across the water into the grand city. Desperately searching for what she is missing, Rose embarks on a journey of her own. The book goes back and forth between Ben's quest, which is told entirely with words, and Rose's story, which is told entirely through pictures. The two stories, set fifty years apart, weave back and forth before ultimately coming together in a very satisfying and mysterious way. The story is ultimately about two kids who are trying to find their place in the world. Easy-to-read and very beautiful, this book will leave you feeling both satisfied and Wonderstruck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good. The author/artist obviously is very good and put a lot of time into it. If you like this book read The Invention of Hugo Cabre.t IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
Wow! Great story that comes to lfe with drawings. New and innovative and "wonderful"!
carly13 More than 1 year ago
this book will keep you on the edge of your seat! it is a tremendous book if you love mystery clues and more this is the book you should read!!
I-Got-Seoul More than 1 year ago
This book says so much with so little.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son and I had an argument about this book because I think its better than Hugo. I think the story telling is better because it is being told in two time periods and yet the story is brought together seamlessly. Illustrations are exceptional yet again and is the type of book everyone can enjoy.
TrixieBelden92 More than 1 year ago
I read this in one night and i lovedit soooooooooooooo much!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
In 1977 in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota Ben's mother just died. Ben has to share a room with his annoying cousin who makes fun of him for being born deaf in one ear even though his old house--the cottage he shared with his mom--is right down the road. Ben is drawn back to the cottage as strongly as he is to the wolves that chase him in his dreams. When a clue about the father he's never met points to New York City, Ben knows he has to follow it. In 1927, Rose is suffocating at home with her father in Hoboken, New Jersey. All Rose wants is to be able to go out by herself, like the other kids, and to watch Lillian Mayhew in silent films. When Rose learns that sound is coming to the movies and that Lillian Mayhew is starring in a play right across the river in New York City, how can she stay away? Will New York City reveal its secrets for Ben and Rose? Will either of them find what they're searching for in Wonderstruck (2011) by Brian Selznick? Wonderstruck is Selznick's second book told in words and pictures like his Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In this book Ben's story in words intertwines in surprising ways with Rose's story told through pictures. Although the format is still brilliant and the story is once again clever and utterly original Wonderstruck lacks some of the verve and guileless charm of Hugo Cabret. The story is messier with a more immediate sense of loss and details that never tie together quite as neatly as they did in Selznick's earlier novel.* New York's American Museum of Natural History plays a prominent role in this story adding a nice to dimension to the story that will make it especially appealing for some readers** but Wonderstruck felt very busy as though it was tackling too much in one book. That is not to say that Brian Selznick is not a genius. He is--that fact is beyond debate. He combines words and pictures in a new way reinventing the whole idea of printed stories and blurring the line between prose fiction and picture books. His books are also always filled with historical details and facts that are well documented in a bibliography at the end of the story. Wonderstruck is a particularly find pick for anyone with an interest in New York City or museums. *I'm thinking particularly of Jamie's behavior in the book. Also the fact that Ben never felt much of a loss after the lightning strike. Did anyone else find that odd? **Like everyone who went to my grade school in 1993. Our building had asbestos so for a few months while it was being removed my entire school was bussed to the AMNH and we had classes there. We ate lunch under the whale every day. True story. Possible Pairings: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, Holes by Louis Sachar, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Meshugenah More than 1 year ago
I almost didn't buy this book. First, I have a nook touch and generally don't buy many physical books anymore. Second, I'm more of a words person than picture person. Third, I don't have children, and generally believe the youngest of my extended family are better at picking their own books than I could ever be. (So what would I do with it after I read it?) However, after seeing Scorsese's movie "Hugo", my interest was piqued. Wonderstruck sat in it's box for a couple of weeks while I read a few others that were stacked up in front. Then I decided to take a break from the "heavy" stuff. I started reading this book and, after some initial confusion caused by the back and forth between the two character's stories, I found myself intrigued by both. I scoured the pictures for clues to where Rose's story was going and just when I thought I might find out, the story switched to Ben. I read Ben's story, delighted by its realistic and non-judgemental progress and then was thrown back to Rose. My dog nudged me an hour into my reading and I looked up, then down at the book, and was shocked to find I was halfway through it. Sure enough, another hour later and I was done and amazed at how delightful and satisfying the experience had been. My copy of this book will get passed along to a few other adults, then will, indeed, be repackaged and mailed to those young nieces and nephews of mine. I'm confident that this is one I can choose for them and they'll enjoy it as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing and it just comes alive as you read and the pictures are just amazing.the book is amazing.
JoanofArcreader More than 1 year ago
I thought Wonderstruck was an amazing book. Rose and Ben’s stories overlap and mix, making it very interesting. When you read it you will be enticed by the pictures that tell Rose’s story, looking at the detail closely, searching for who she is. In Ben’s story you will feel as if you’re living his story with him because it is described in perfect words. This book is now definitely one of my favorites. I absolutely loved this book! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to escape in a book one day or just looking for a good read. The action starts right away in the book. Though the book may scare some readers away because of its large size do keep in mind that Rose’s story is all in pictures so reading this book is faster than you might think it is. Wonderstruck is a book for all ages because younger children can understand it, teens can relate to it, and it can mean a lot for an adult while still be a challenging enough read for adults. Brian Selznick’s writing technique will entrance you. It is a enthralling novel that will leave you breathless as you race though it from suspense. I thought it was phenomenal! Wonderstruck will truly leave you wonderstruck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was spellbound by Brian Selznick's book Hugo Cabret when i saw this in the book store i knew it was for me. I begged my mom who finally gave in to an irreplacable book. I'm 12 years old and i found this book amazing with the amazing pictures mixed with the enchanting story it makes for a perfect read by the fireplace this ones a keeper. A perfect gift i lent this book to my cousin, my mom,my aunt my brother my dad and my grandmother who all said it was one of the best books EVER!!!!
PapaJohnJA More than 1 year ago
I recently read The Invention of Hugo Cabret with my eight and six year old grandsons. They loved it and were so excited when I told them about Wonderstruck. They loved the story and the illustrations, and I loved reading with them and talking about the beautiful pictures. My 12 year old daughter also read this on her own and loved it. Fans of Selznick's books will not be disappointed by his latest.
smaikens More than 1 year ago
Brian Selznick created a new art form with his illustrated novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret". Now, he's followed up with his 2nd novel, "Wonderstruck". Perhaps the title hints at the reaction that readers will have to the many intricately rendered pencil drawings. "Wonderstruck" is actually 2 intertwined stories set many years apart. Selznick uses his hundreds of drawings to tell the story of Rose, a deaf girl living in 1920's New York. The text tells the story of Ben, a boy living in Minnesota in 1977. "Wonderstruck" is as thick as a brick, but don't let the size deter you from experiencing this marvelous read. This is a perfect book to share with reluctant readers or for parents to read at bedtime. I've been a Brian Selznick fan for years, ever since I saw him "put on a show" to promote his picture book, "The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins". He's talented, personable, & a born promoter. "Hugo Cabret", which won a Caldecott Award, is one of my favorite books of all time. I hope the movie by Martin Scorcese due at Christmas does it justice.
cassielanzas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderstruck is comprised of two parallel stories. One is told through text and the other is told through pictures. Ben and Rose were both searching for a place they belong. Ben is struck by lightning after his mother dies and tries to find his father. Rose is the daughter of a famous actress and is locked away because she is deaf. Ultimately, both character find and create a new place where they could belong. Ben is searching for a lost parent, while Rose has tired of being locked away for her handicap. Both Ben and Rose find themselves at the Museum of Natural History. Rose finds her brother, moves, and begins making model cities. Ben finds Rose, discovers that his father is dead, and that Rose is his grandmother. This would be an excellent book to use with disabled children. Rose was locked away for her disability. While she was locked away, she was unable to use her talent to build items that the public could see. This reminds me of how in the past, special education and ELL students were locked away in different rooms than other students. This did not allow them to show their talents and strengths, much like Rose was unable to show her strengths to the world. I believe many students with disabilities would be inspired by the ways that Ben and Rose overcame theirs.I loved this book. I thought the parallel stories told through different mediums was very creative. Additionally, since both characters were deaf, it furthered the storyline.
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another beautiful contribution from Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck follows the story of two children separated by about 50 years. The story about a deaf girl who runs away to Manhattan in 1927 is told entirely in gorgeous line drawings. The other story, about a boy in Michigan in the 70's, is told in text until the two stories merge at the end of the book. Ben's mother has just died and he never knew his father. He lives with his aunt and uncle, but finds a book from a museum with some clues who his father is and runs away to find him. Complicating the trip is that he has just lost his own hearing and travels to Manhattan without being able to understand those around him. Readers gain an appreciation for the deaf and for the passion of museum curators.
ander23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The title aptly describes my reaction to it. The author has a true gift for evoking the very best and the very truest things about humans, especially about the things that delight and fascinate, and about the friendships between children and families. 5 stars.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick tells the story of Wonderstruck partially in text and partially in images. In Hugo Cabret, however, the images are used for the "action" segments, but in Wonderstruck, Selznick has gone a step further and tells one of the two parallel stories completely in words and the other completely in images, until the two converge at the end.Although the connection between the two protagonists and the outcome are both easily guessed, the story is still satisfying and has quite a few insights into Deaf culture that I found rewarding as a hearing reader. The artwork is hands-down what makes this stand out, though; Selznick's attention to detail and the cinematic nature of his sequential art is quite extraordinary. While it's not fair to really compare the two, I found the plot of Hugo Cabret infinitely more intriguing (perhaps because I figured out the end of Wonderstruck too soon). I did enjoy Wonderstruck enough to recommend it to any type of reader, but would say that if you're picking one or the other, go for Hugo Cabret.
Dranea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret - I learned he had another book out there - Wonderstruck. And I had to read it. I am just as impressed by this book as I was his first. This book tells two different stories very differently. One is of Ben, who was born deaf in one ear. The other is Rose's story, a little girl who is completely deaf. While Ben's story is narrated throughout the book, Rose's story is told only through illustrations. At first, I thought I would be disappointed as I loved how the illustrations continued the story in Hugo - not told the story itself. I was not disappointed at all. I loved how each story played out and it was not confusing in the least bit to switch from one story to the next. In a way, I thought seeing Rose's story only in pictures could be how a deaf person would live things. While we are reading text, we "hear" the words on the page, but all we could do in Rose's part of the story was see it. The details and expressions were enough to give me what I needed to know the feelings and guide me through her story. The size of the book may seem overwhelming to a younger reader, but I would suggest encouraging them to read it anyway. It is a very fast read due to the many amazing illustrations - but don't be tempted to flip through the pictures too quickly, there are many details in there that you would be missing if you did. I look forward to many more books from Brian Selznick - and I hope he continues writing the books the way he has the last two I have read. They are simply brilliant and will leave you wanting more.
jfoster_sf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good book with some great illustrations, but not nearly as good as The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
slanger89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What an amazing read! A young boy's journey through loss, tragedy, difficult changes, and ultimately the discovery of a lifetime. Ben loses his mother and must live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Then he faces another major set back when he tries to discover more about his father who he has never met. Ben sets off on the adventure of his lifetime to meet his father, and although the journey and outcome aren't exactly what he expects the results are astounding and change his life forever.Along with Ben's journey, the story of a young deaf girl named Rose is also told mainly through pictures. The two stories interweave and mesh together perfectly adding an extra element to the book.The story is masterfully told through not only carefully chosen words, but perfectly suited pictures. This was an awesome novel which people of all ages will enjoy and re-read just to see if they missed anything the first time.