Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories—Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures—weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.
Two stories, set fifty years apart; interwoven. One told through pictures and the other told through words.
The first story is of Ben, a young boy in the 1977 who just lost his mother and sets out to look for his father. The second story follows Rose, a young girl from 1927’s New Jersey who sets out to look for her idol, a movie star.
Both children’s search take them to New York City. Both children - deaf - are struggling to find what they are looking for in a world where hearing is normal and sometimes taken for granted. In a sense, they end up mirroring each other’s search and face similar hardships. How their lives intertwine in the end, though I was able to guess, was still very bittersweet.
I enjoyed the illustrations immensely. Brian Selznick sets out to tell a story through his pictures and he succeeds. The details in some of the pictures were amazing. I found myself looking forward to Rose’s story even though I loved reading Ben’s.
Brian also gives the reader a glimpse into Deaf culture, a culture that I’ve never experienced, and opened my eyes to a different lifestyle. I appreciated the way he told the story, giving the reader a glimpse into a world that some might not be familiar with. The story also echos with the longing we all have to belong somewhere, to be a part of something.
Wonderstruck is, at it’s core, a story of acceptance and community. It’s quite relatable and because of this, I think many people will enjoy reading it.