Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Book Review: Wonderstruck

Brian Selznick's new book as wonderful as its name

By Grace McManus | September 21 , 2011
Courtesy Scholastic<br />
Courtesy Scholastic

Author Brian Selznick is back. The creator of the much-loved mega-hit book The Invention of Hugo Cabret has now written an equally special, if not more captivating, story titled Wonderstruck.

In Wonderstruck, Selznick unfolds two seemingly separate stories set 50 years apart. One is told with only words, the other with only pictures, until both stories collide near the end. But from the start, there is one trait shared by the two main characters that can't be overlooked: both are deaf.

Selznick first came up with the idea of using only pictures to tell a story about a deaf person after he had seen a documentary about deaf culture. In a video interview I did with Selznick, he told me how struck he was by the documentary's idea that the deaf are often "people of the eye" who "see" most of the prominent things in their lives because they cannot hear.  

That intrigued Selznick, and he set to work on Wonderstruck, telling the stories of Ben and Rose — Ben in words, Rose in pictures. Selznick's drawings are amazing — they pull you in so that you feel like you're part of the scene instead of just viewing it.  

But for me, his writing is even more powerful. It pulls you down into the deepest part of the character's souls, especially when we're following Ben's story. I felt like I was a part of Ben, hearing his thoughts, not just reading an author's words. When Ben suddenly loses his hearing, Selznick's description broke my heart: "Then, through the windows, he saw something that seemed impossible. He saw rain, still pouring down from the sky, streaking hard against the glass. He saw lightning flash without thunder. 'How odd,' he thought. The storm hadn't stopped. Such quiet rain. It had been so loud before. Where had all the noise gone?"

Wonderstruck is as wonderful as its name. It is a beautiful and magical tale that leaves you with both goosebumps and a feeling of belonging in your heart.

Be sure and check out Kid Reporter Grace McManus' video interview with Wonderstruck author Brian Selznick!

KIDS READ

Do you need help picking out what book to read next? Find out what Kid Reporters are saying about all the latest books by reading their book reviews in this special report.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Half Brother

    Half Brother

    by Kenneth Oppel

    For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan - an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben's father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben's parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. At least now he's not the only one his father's going to scrutinize.It isn't long before Ben is Zan's favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. To him, Zan is only a specimen, no more, no less. And this is going to have consequences. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true - between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

    Half Brother isn't just a story about a boy and a chimp. It's about the way families are made, the way humanity is judged, the way easy choices become hard ones, and how you can't always do right by the people and animals you love. In the hands of master storyteller Kenneth Oppel, it's a novel you won't soon forget.

    $15.14
    Hardcover Book | Grades 8-12
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Half Brother
    Grades 8-12 $15.14
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Storm Runners 3: Eruption

    Storm Runners 3: Eruption

    by Roland Smith

    The explosive conclusion to Roland Smith's fast-paced action series!

    Chase Masters and his friends have made it through the longest night of their lives, but their adventures are far from over. Now they're headed south of the border to track down the missing Rossi Brothers' Circus. With a volcano about to erupt after a massive earthquake, Chase has never faced such a serious threat to his survival!

    $25.99
    CD | Grades 4-7
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Storm Runners 3: Eruption
    Grades 4-7 $25.99
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com