Wonderstruck
Essays News Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

A boy named Ben longs for the father he has never known. A girl named 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.

Ben's story, set in 1977, is told entirely with words, while Rose's story, set fifty years earlier, is told entirely with pictures. The two stories weave back and forth before ultimately coming together. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

This book was a joy, a challenge, and a puzzle to put together. I hope you enjoy meeting Ben and Rose, and joining them on their thrilling, dangerous and unexpected adventures in New York City.
Brian Selznick

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WONDERSTRUCK Book Trailer Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian Selznick and this is Wonderstruck.

Wonderstruck is about two kids who are trying to find the place where they belong in the world.

After I finished The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I wanted to try to take what I learned from making that book and make a new book.

And I started thinking about what else I could do to tell a story with pictures, and I thought it might be interesting to try to tell two different stories:

One story takes place in 1977 and it's all told with text, with words, like a regular book. The other story takes place 50 years earlier, 1927, and that entire story is told in pictures.

So these two stories weave back and forth until they come together at the end to create one single narrative.

I really love working with a great amount of detail. I love doing research. I love making sure that every inch of the drawing has a reason to exist.

It's a very immersive experience to be inside the time period, having done all this research.

One of the things I love most about writing and illustrating, is simply telling a story about characters that you care about and having it unfold in a surprising, interesting, hopefully exciting way. I write about things I love.

In Wonderstruck I write about museums, and I write about Deaf culture, and I write about New York in 1927, in 1977. I did as much research as I possibly could on all of those things, and I learned so much, and I loved so much of what it was I discovered.

And so, what I hope for the reader, is that when they read this book, when they open this book up and see the pictures and read the story and watch how they come together, that the love that I felt for all of these different elements and for these characters comes through for them.