Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

by Nicholas

Imagine being alone in the world. Imagine searching for loved ones. Imagine finding them—and so much more. This is the premise of Wonderstruck, done in the most beautiful way possible. Wonderstruck is utterly captivating, but does not insist on the reader’s undivided attention with constant action. Reading Wonderstruck is like watching a sunset, or reveling in the beauty of the stars that light the night sky.

Wonderstruck begins with young Ben, tragically alone in the austere atmosphere of Minnesota. He seems defiant in the face of adversity, but his life has been forever altered by a horrible event. Ben decides that he has the power to change his unfortunate predicament, so, with a pocket of obscure clues, mysterious hints, and unfaltering hope, Ben makes his way to New York. There he learns that love, though it may seem to disappear for a while, is only hiding and can always find you.

The illustrations and words are so beautifully entwined, it’s as though grace and magic have married. The hand-drawn black and white pictures create a soothing backdrop as the words enrapture your mind. The simple, yet entirely universal, story is one that creates such mystery and intrigue it is impossible to put the book down! Brian Selznick has created in words and pictures what many authors struggle a lifetime to make: a world readers can live in. You can feel the plight of Ben the protagonist as you read; you feel his anguish, his surprise, his lost innocence, and, finally, his joy at the glorious climax of the novel when the mysteries of Ben’s life unravel and all is set right in the world. The story is timeless, the drawings are infused with true artistic finesse, and ultimately, this is a book that I think will last through generations. I give Wonderstruck two big, fat figgies up!

 

Nicholas is a young Georgian, living amongst the trees, yet aspiring for the lights of cities. He has been writing stories and poetry all of his life, and he never, never, never plans on stopping.

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