There are two characters in this story, with lives that are 50 years apart. Ben (12) wants to find his  father, a man he has never known. He thinks he is on to something when he finds an interesting clue in his mother's room.

Rose, whose story starts 50 years before Ben's wants to meet an actress who is the star of her scrapbook. When Rose reads an interesting headline in the newspaper, she decides that she should find and meet this woman.

The children set out, alone, on quests to answer their heart's deepest wish. The chapters alternate their stories, with Ben's story is told in words, Rose's story in illustration only.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

There is more than meets the eye in Wonderstruck. There is something for everyone - including adult readers.

Content Awareness Factors:

Adult readers will need to spend time "setting up" Rose's story in its historical context.

Young Reader Reaction

Our daughter doesn't like books with "lots of words," so we thought this might engage her. She had trouble *getting* Rose's story and the history context. She lost interest about halfway through.

Parent Reaction

I am not usually drawn to wordless books. Wonderstruck was a great surprise. The stories are woven together well, and I didn't fully expect the connections to emerge as they did. The one disapointment are the illustrations of a face that span two pages. I know the *why* but it detracts from the reading.

Type of Book:
In this middle grade novel two characters tell the story. One with words, one with illustrations.
Educational Themes:

The author talks about his research and includes a bibliography of places to learn more about deaf culture, cabinets of wonder, the World's Fair, and 1927, as well. They offer a great place to start in building on a reader's interest in the ideas Wonderstruck offers. One of the underlying themes is family. Ben ultimately traces his family tree. This may be something you as a family want to do for yourselves.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Read with a 10-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a thoughtful, thought-provoking study that introduces readers to worlds and ideas they are likely unfamiliar with.

Title Wonderstruck
Author Brian Selznick
Publisher SCHOLASTIC © 2013
Illustrators Brian Selznick
ISBN 0545027896
Material Hard Cover
Cost $29.99
Genres Adventure, Family, Friendship, Health & Wellness, 1920s & 1930s, Disabilities | Developmental Challenges
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