Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick | Book ReviewWonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Also by this author:
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories
Pages: 637
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

From Brian Selznick, the creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the Caldecott Medal winner, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Set fifty years apart, two independent stories - Ben's told in words and 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.

Ever since his mom died, Ben feels lost. At home with her father, Rose feels alone. He is searching for someone, but he is not sure who. She is searching for something, but she is not sure what. When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mom's room, When a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose, Both children risk everything to find what's missing.

With over 460 pages of original drawings and playing with the form he invented in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful, Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Brian Selznick is THE DEAL. I’m not just talking out of my ass either, his books are AWESOME. While I am currently in the middle of reading The Invention Of Hugo Cabret, I thought I’d take the time to FINALLY review Wonderstruck. I mean, I read Wonderstruck back in September, but haven’t been sufficiently motivated enough to write a review.

Here’s the thing — I love it when books have pictures. I go ga ga over books where the pictures tell the story, like The Arrival by Shaun Tan. The pictures in Wonderstruck play a pivotal role in telling the story. Yet they don’t only serve a function, they are tactile experiences. By this I mean the illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly compliment the plot of Wonderstruck.

There are two separate story lines in Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. One follows a boy named Ben and starts in Minnesota in 1977. Ben is deaf in one ear. Reeling from his mother’s untimely death, Ben sneaks back home and finds a book with a mysterious inscription. The other story line follows a girl named Rose in 1927 New York City. Of significance or rather a moving bit of Rose’s storyline is when we see the transition from silent films to ‘talkies’ and it’s effect on Rose who is completely deaf. The two stories connect in a manner that surprised but delighted me all the same.

Brian Selznick is an author to watch, especially for the way he experiments with the storytelling form. In place of 1000 words, Selznick uses a picture. Frankly, I loved Wonderstruck. Plain and simple. And you guys, I really hope this season you allow yourself to experience Selznick’s story telling magic, because it is worth it.

Disclosure: Received for review at Book Expo America.

Other reviews of Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick:

Strange And Random Happenstance
A Patchwork Of Books
Green Bean Teen Queen

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. First off, I love that you review different stuff. I would say I never know what I’m going to see when I come to your blog, but the email usually tells me. ha! I thought when I clicked on this.. that it was going to be another book I had seen around. I think there is a semi newer book called Wanderlust? At first early morning glance, that’s what I thought this was going to be about, but I was again, pleasantly surprised to see something different that I hadn’t heard about yet.

    That’s really neat that he uses pictures… assuming this is a graphic novel since it’s tagged as one. I haven’t read any graphic novels yet. I have been wanting to check out the Vampire academy ones.. I should try one out.

    I thought I was well read until I started blogging, now I feel like a dope sometimes.. so many different things I haven’t tried. lol. Have a great day!

    • The format basically is tons of pages of pictures then a few pages of prose and writing.

      But yes, this is a good one!

      Also, I think you ARE well read! I mean when 1 in 4 americans don’t pick up books and YOU choose to read and blog about books then you, friend, are well read.

  2. I LOVED Wonderstruck and Hugo Cabret, but like you, haven’t reviewed them yet. Maybe I’ll get them in before the end of the year. 🙂

    His illustrations are definitely one-of-a-kind and enthralling while at it. I love books with pictures too. I think that’s why I love reading kid-lit.

    Happy holidays!

  3. April (the commenter)- The book you are talking about is Wanderlove. It’s by Kirsten Hubbard and it’s friggin amazing.

    And thanks April for reviewing this book. I have been on the fence about reading it, but I am glad to see you enjoyed it so much. I like books with illustrations too, but I never seem to have good luck with them. So I am hoping to have a better experience with Wonderstruck.

    Much love to your reviewing expertise as always.

  4. Eeeep fantastic review. I agree with everything you’ve had to say. He really is an epic storyteller. I think I loved Wonderstruck a bit more than Hugo just because that ending made me tear up.

    I admit, I have a bit of an author crush on Selznick.

  5. I LOVED Hugo, and was very excited when this came out. Although I was a bit slack and didn’t get it right away. But, I’ve been given it for Christmas so I can’t wait to read it now!


  6. I have a copy of this and I’m so excited to read it! This was the only book that I bought during the whole month of October. 🙂 I’m hoping I can read it before the year ends – it’s a lot easier to read than other books because of the pictures. We’ll see. Good to know you loved it though.

  7. I did a readalong with ^this girl^ and absolutely loved Hugo. Definitely looking forward to reading this one, it’s on my Christmas wish list! =)

  8. I SERIOUSLY need to read this book. I LOVED Hugo Cabret when I read it and was so excited to see this one! I am SO glad you loved it too! 🙂 I love reading really excited reviews 🙂


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