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Wonderstruck

by Brian Selznick

Published by Scholastic Press, 2011
640 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠧45-027892

Ages 8-13

As he did in The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic Press, 2007), Brian Selznick again alternates prose and visual storytelling, in this case weaving two compelling tales into a satisfying whole. In 1977, Ben finds clues to the identity of the father he抯 never known that lead him to New York City and the American Museum of Natural History. For Ben, who was born deaf in one ear and has recently lost his hearing in the other, running away from his relatives in Minnesota is more than a search for his father; it抯 also a search for meaningful connection missing since his mother抯 death. In 1927, Rose is growing up in a wealthy home in New Jersey. She is deaf and defiantly resists her father抯 demands that she learn to lip-read and speak. Deeply unhappy, she runs away to New York City to see her mother, a silent film star with little interest in Rose. After her mother抯 rejection, Rose goes to the American Museum of Natural History, where her older brother works. Fifty years later, Ben has found shelter and help at the Museum thanks to Jamie, a lonely boy whose father works there. He also begins to find answers about his father梐n artist who worked for the museum梚n the exhibits and in the files he explores with Jamie抯 help. Those answers ultimately connect Ben and Rose in this story that has elements of mystery while offering insight into both friendship and family. Ben抯 story is told almost entirely through prose, while Rose抯 unfolds in detailed, dramatic pencil drawings. As the two stories merge, so too do the two narrative mediums.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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