Wonderstruck

Two stories set in two different decades, with two characters that are each missing something in their lives. Ben, having suffered a sudden tragedy, yearns, now more than ever, to know about who is father is; Rose’s fascination with a famous actress keeps her searching for something. Independently, they both set out to New York City in hopes of finding what they are looking for. Wonderstruck is a wonderfully written novel with two different stories, one told through text and the other through beautiful illustrations, where the two become one.
Selznick, B. (2007). Wonderstruck. NY: Scholastic.
  • Wonderstruck is two-fold with two stories and two different characters that parallel in time only to intersect in the end. This novel, similarly to El Deafo, depicts the depth of one’s feelings as they face the world with no sound, no audio feedback. The main characters in both books struggle to adapt to their impairments after once being active participants in the hearing world. Although these stories and character’s level of difficulty in coping with their hearing loss differs in many ways, the underlying theme is one of acceptance and optimism; about overcoming insecurities about being different. Both, not knowing anyone else dealing with the same issues, have to face this on their own, learn from it, and grow from it.
  • These two books differ in their moods, their style, and their emotional depth. Wonderstruck is an emotional novel with complexity, mystery, sadness, hope, love, anger, etc. It’s a more serious read for older children, while El Deafo, although depicting a serious issue, is told in a much light-hearted manner with bold colors and humorous dialogue.
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