A Novel in Words and Pictures

Book - 2011
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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 heading in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these independent stories-Ben's told in words, Rose's in picture-weave back and forth with mesmerising symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2011.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780545027892
Branch Call Number: j F SELZNICK
Characteristics: 637 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: Wonder struck


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From Library Staff

LPL_DanC Nov 09, 2017

Todd Haynes new film adaptation of Wonderstruck was a hit at the Cannes Film Fest and looks to be almost as beautiful as the book. From Brian Selznick, whose Invention of Hugo Cabret introduced the 300+ page picture book for middle grade readers. Not to be missed! (And who knew there is a scal... Read More »

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May 31, 2020

I was hoping to download so that I can read on my laptop. I will continue trying to figure how it is done.

JCLMirandaA Mar 26, 2020

From the author of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” comes a novel partly told in prose and partly in pictures about two kids through time dealing with hearing loss and making discoveries about their families. I actually enjoyed this story better than Selznik’s first. I was fully invested in both stories and the balance between both was perfect as well. The timing, pacing, characters, stories of these two children was so well done that I blew through this book in no time. The characters stick with you long after the cover is closed.

JCLCharlesH Oct 17, 2019

A story of two children from different times, and the parallels in their lives. Selznick yet again demonstrates his storytelling ability to weave both stories together, one told through illustration, and one through prose.

IndyPL_SteveB Mar 01, 2019

*The Invention of Hugo Cabret* was a one-of-kind masterpiece – until Selznick published this nearly as impressive second book. This is also a fat novel partly told in pictures like a silent movie. The silent movie reference is important here because the two main characters are deaf.

Ben has been deaf in one ear since birth. His mother has died recently; he never knew his father. When his house is struck by lightning, he loses hearing in his other ear. After going to a school for the deaf for a while, he determines to run away to New York City and track down his father. Ben’s story is told in text.

Interlaced with Ben’s story, we are seeing the story of Rose, some 50 years before, all in pictures. Rose is about the same age as Ben in his story, but Rose is completely deaf. Her mother is an actress in New York but keeps Rose distant from her, across the Hudson River. Rose runs off to New York to find her mother. Both Ben’s and Rose’s story become intimately connected with the New York Museum of Natural History. Of course, as they must, their stories eventually connect in an intimate and moving way. A visual, thoughtful treat.

mko123 Sep 11, 2018

An orphaned boy,who lost his mother, yearns to find the father he never knew. Much earlier in time, there is a lonely girl, longing for her mother who has left to be a famous actress in New York City. Both children follow clues to unravel the mystery Of their lives. The boy's guiding principal is a quote his mom had on their refrigerator magnet " All Of us live in the muck, but some of us are looking at the stars." Does the universe conspire to bring us all home? I loved this magical, inspirational book.

Jul 04, 2018

Wow. I am lost for words to describe this touching, beautiful and meaningful book.
I personally loved how the author decided to showcase the story at the beginning with hundreds of illustrations. You felt like not you knew what was going to happen, but plot twist.... Nope!
Anyway, I recommend this extraordinary story to everyone because it is very heart-warming and filled with sudden surprises!


Dec 20, 2017

The book is relative, creative and absolutely wonderful.Brian Selznick has written and drawn an amazing story.It shows the heartwarming part of the book and the charming characters.I believe that this story should be read all over the world for different types of people.

LPL_DanC Nov 09, 2017

Todd Haynes new film adaptation of Wonderstruck was a hit at the Cannes Film Fest and looks to be almost as beautiful as the book. From Brian Selznick, whose Invention of Hugo Cabret introduced the 300+ page picture book for middle grade readers. Not to be missed! (And who knew there is a scale model of New York in a museum in Queens? It's in this book).

Aug 27, 2017

Saw the trailer for this movie which is coming out this fall, and decided I wanted to read the book before the movie released. The connection of 2 deaf children from different time periods appealed to me. I have not read many comic books or graphic novels in my lifetime, as I prefer words to pictures, so wasn't sure how I would like this format of pictures and text mixed together. But I did enjoy the story and the pictures were easy to follow. Although it's a whopping 600 pages, it goes by quickly and I was able to finish it in 2 days. Cute book that adults can also enjoy.

May 22, 2017

A charming, sweet story.

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Jul 01, 2019

green_chicken_614 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Feb 18, 2019

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Jan 09, 2019

Preetpal_0 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Aug 10, 2018

blue_cat_14214 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 14

Dec 20, 2017

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red_hummingbird_173 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Feb 25, 2016

blue_cat_9606 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

black_tiger_2585 Sep 12, 2014

black_tiger_2585 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 28, 2014

orange_tiger_1474 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Oct 19, 2013

allya373 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Jul 02, 2014

This book tells about two people that are deaf and about there story it was very hard.

Jun 13, 2014

One story told through pictures and the other through words. Selznick weaves the stories of Rose and Ben together beautifully. Ben, who is deaf in one ear, loses his mother and has to live with his aunt and uncle. Rose is also deaf and dreams of becoming an actress. Ben and Rose leave their homes in hope of finding what is missing in their lives.

ZanathShadow14 Jun 04, 2014

Ben and Rose are two very different children who have two things in common - they are both deaf and they both live with people who don't seem to understand them. Thought his might not seem to be much, these things are going to set them both on amazing adventures that will, in the end, leave them both - Wonderstruck.
Written with the same combination of engaging writing and beautifully rendered pencil drawings that captivated readers in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck takes you on a spectacular adventure that will leave you wanting more!


Ben: Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, June 1977. Rose: Hoboken, New Jersey, October 1927. Ben’s Story – written: Newly orphaned when his mother dies, Ben comes to believe that he has a father, hitherto unknown, living in New York City. When an accident involving a telephone and a bolt of lightning renders him deaf, he sets out for the big city in search of clues to who his father really is. Rose’s Story – seen almost solely in pictures: A seeming prisoner in her own home, Rose too sets out for New York City to see the actress Lillian Mayhew for reasons of her own. The two children both end up in The American Museum of Natural History and both discover something there that will help to give them what they need to solve their own problems. And in that discovery, they will find one another.


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Aug 04, 2014

“Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders.”


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