Monday, October 16, 2017
Middle Grade Monday: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. 608 p. Scholastic Inc., September, 2011. 9780545027892. (Purchased)
I read this back when it was published in 2011 but didn't blog about it, nor was I on Goodreads then. I recall enjoying the story. I did not have the chance to reread the book before seeing the movie the other but took the opportunity to do so over the weekend.
Wonderstruck tells parallel stories - one set in 1927 and one in 1977. The 1927 story is told in illustrations. It is the story of Rose, a child who was born deaf to a famous actress. Rose lives in Hoboken, NJ with her stern and cold father while her mother lives in New York City to pursue her acting career. Rose meticulously clips articles about her mother's career and lovingly keeps a scrapbook. She loves to watch her mother in movies because they are silent and accessible to her. One cannot skip a single illustration because each one advances the story and each one is remarkable.
Ben's story is the one set in 1977. He was born deaf in one ear and never knew his father. His mother recently died in a crash and he's living with his aunt and uncle. He finds a clue to who his father might be while searching through his mother's belongings. After a freak accident takes away his hearing in his good ear and lands him in the hospital, Ben decides to run away to New York to find his father.
There are a couple of plot contrivances to swallow, and there is a distinct nod to From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Celebrating 50 years this year), but suspend belief and go along for the ride. It's a satisfying one.