The premise: 1977, Gunflint Lake, Minnesota. When Ben's mother dies, he finds a clue in her room about the father he has never known. 1927, Hoboken, New Jersey. Rose discovers a headline in the newspaper concerning an actress she accounts in her scrapbook. Ben's clue and Rose's headline lead them on a journey for answers, a journey which they embark upon alone, fifty years apart.
What keeps readers reading: Selznick's revolutionary blend of words and pictures, used separately, but which weave one tale. Ben's story (told in words) and Rose's story (told through pictures) flow back and forth but unite in a surprising and beautiful way. As Ben and Rose's story intertwine and become the same story, Brian Selznick's use of words and pictures blends also. No longer do the words tell one story and the pictures another, the words and pictures fuse into one tale. Wonderstruck makes readers ponder the connections people hold with one another and fills readers with the wonder of time, love, friendship, and family. Read - no - experience this story for yourself and be struck with wonder at it.
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Happy middle grade reading!