28 January 2013


Every once in a while a book comes along that causes a disruption in the force.  It changes things.  It makes you see the medium of book making and writing and reading in entirely new and unforeseen avenues.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick was such a book for me.

Selznick was the mastermind behind The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which I admit, I haven't read.  If any of you have seen the movie HUGO, it was based on that book.  The movie was lovely.  I should probably read the book.

Wonderstruck, follows two story lines that intertwine, mostly at the end.  It's the story of a deaf girl in the 1920's who has to find her place in the world, and a boy in the 1970's who becomes deaf and unable to communicate in anything other than writing.  While the story was worthwhile and interesting, it wasn't the story that intrigued me.  It was the fact that half of the book was done in black and white sketches.  Half the story was told without words.  I realize that for picture books, this has been done many times to great effect.  However, in a middle grade, or YA book, I haven't heard of anything being done like that outside graphic novels (which are entirely different).  The drawings were beautiful and descriptive in a way words cannot be.  They brought forward a new sort of storytelling for me.  A more adult form of picture book.  A profound form.

Aside from that, I love the title.  What a word!  Wonderstruck.  It brings to mind the same feeling that awesome used to inspire.  Awe struck.  Wonderstruck.  I love it.

Selznick has taken two creative processes and combined them to tell a story.  He has taken a middle grade novel and a picture book and combined them.  I loved the way it made me feel like I was participating in something worth noting. 

Creativity can be a scary thing to unleash, especially when it's different from what everyone else is doing.  But this was beautiful.  Definitely worth picking up.


Ashley said...

I think I will have to check this out. It intrigues me.

Swiss Miss said...

I love Hugo Cabret. It's one of my favourite kids' books.
You may remember me raving about it when I chose it for our NZ Book club when you lived here - actually maybe you'd moved already.

Enjoy it when you get to it.