Behold, Brian Selznick’s Kaleidoscope.
I am not going to tell you what it is about. I am not going to tell you everything you are in for. I am not going to try to guide you.
I want you to have this experience for yourself.
I have now read Kaleidoscope at least twenty times. And I have now talked to at least twenty readers of various ages who’ve read it, some of them multiple times. All I know for sure is this: Every reader will see something different and feel something personal as they immerse themselves in this book.
There is love. There is loss. There is grief. There is hope. As with a kaleidoscope, they are presented in fragments, colors, refractions . . . but there is a truth underneath that will be defined, in part, by your own experiences of love, loss, grief, and hope.
Brian began writing this book while under lockdown in Brooklyn, separated for months from his husband, who was under lockdown in California. Many of us read it as we were in our own lockdowns, dealing with a mortal powerlessness that hit very close to home. When I ask my colleagues what they think of the book, they use words like astonishing and remarkable. When I ask them how they feel about the book, the word that comes up the most is grateful.
You have never read a book like this before. You need to meet it on its own terms. Read for love. Read for loss. Read for grief. Read for hope.
When you’re done, you’re going to want to talk about it. Give it to a colleague or a kid or teen in your life. Compare what they saw within it to what you saw within it.
This is a book for ten-, eleven-, and twelve-year-olds. This is a book for teenagers. This is a book for adults. We will all see different things within it. All of those things will be true.
I’m not going to talk to you any longer. Dive in.
Publisher & Editorial Director, Scholastic Press