Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
As a boy in Minnesota in 1977 and a girl in New Jersey in 1917 both search for a place to belong, their quests take them on parallel paths to New York City.
Ben's story is told in words, while Rose's story is conveyed through beautiful pencil drawings. The drawings are the strongest part of the story, the written sections are only so-so. The parallel plots felt contrived because of the reliance on dreams and coincidence.
That said, there are interesting references to the American Museum of Natural History, cabinets of wonder, and American Deaf culture - plus a great bibliography and the author's story at the end. Unfortunately, Wonderstruck just doesn't hold up to its promising style and subject.
Fans of E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find hidden references in the text! And of course, fans of Selznick's style should most definitely check out The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was made into the movie Hugo by Martin Scorsese.