Rating: High Four
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Echo, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and anything by Cornelia Funke.
Synopsis (from Amazon):
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.
There is no question that Brian Selznick is an incredibly talented author/illustrator. Unfortunately, I just wasn't feeling this story. "Wonderstruck" had a rather redundant plot, with characters that I couldn't connect to as much as I wanted to. Readers looking for a fresh book with quirky characters, such as with "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" will, sadly, be disappointed.
However, I still did enjoy "Wonderstruck." Ben and Rose were likable characters, with goals I couldn't help becoming interested in. I love the idea of having Ben's story being completely told in words, and Rose's, completely in illustrations. This contributed to the fun, magic, and intrigue of this story. In the end, I wasn't surprised or impacted by the finale, but it was satisfying nonetheless. Selznick's writing and illustrations were, as always, spot-on. I think kids with less expectations would say this book is a solid high five, but unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the fact that this did not live up to "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," so therefore, I didn't enjoy "Wonderstruck" as much as I should have.