Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

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Just like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick’s new story, Wonderstruck, has something so special and magical that it will appeal to event adults, especially those who have a appreciation for history, museums and a young boy trying to find his way in the world.

While going through his mother’s things after her death, Ben Wilson, who now lives in his cousin’s cabin in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, finds an old book called Wonderstruck, written by a curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Out of the book falls a bookmark with a cryptic note, which makes Ben ponder whether the note came from his father, the man whose existence was always a mystery.

During this stormy night, Ben attempts to call the number on the bookmark, hoping to find out about his father, when he suddenly blacks out. The next thing he knows is that he is in the hospital, recovering from being struck by lightning. Already deaf in one ear, the accident has caused deafness in his other ear, and now he cannot hear at all.

Ben sneaks out of the hospital and sets out for the big city in hopes of learning about his father. His journey brings him to the American Museum of Natural History, which is like a beckon calling him home. What he learns there about his own history will change his life forever.

The story is told in a combination of words and pictures, and alternates between the 1920’s and the 1970’s. It is not everyday that an adult fiction reader like myself gets to experience a story told through pictures, so this was such a special treat. I don’t want to give too much away, so just read it and be prepared to fall in love with this book!

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