11 Books You Never Thought You'd Read (but Will Fall in Love with Instantly)
As an author and artist, Brian Selznick creates two separate but intertwining narratives in Wonderstruck, jumping back and forth between them seamlessly, even though one uses words and the other illustrations. The written story: Ben's, set in 1977, which takes us to Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, where Ben is feeling incredibly alone after the death of his mother, the only parent he's ever known. The illustrated version: Rose's, set 50 years earlier, in 1927, which shows us, through detailed pencil drawings, Rose's similar feelings of isolation, due to her deafness. Each sets off on an adventure, Ben seeking his father, whom he knows about only through clues left behind by his mother, and Rose running away from home, determined to enjoy the freedom she has been denied because of her lack of hearing. What drives this graphic novel⎯and makes it so engrossing⎯is suspense: Which of them will succeed and how? The finale, set in New York City's American Museum of Natural History, will surprise even the most seasoned reader. But it's the journey to that end that enchants, as Ben and Rose assert their independence in this moving story of family and community.