Friday, 29 June 2012

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

I loved loved loved this book. I read it aloud to my class, having never read it before. A big risk! But, after reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I knew I could trust this author. We have been reading it in little snippets for months, and finished it on the very last day of school. When I knew I could time it perfectly like that I wished there was something we could do as a final activity to build on it. In the end, I found a video called Koko, which is about a gorilla that learned sign language. There is a lot of sign language and stories about deafness in this book - which fit in really well with our hearing and sound unit in science. Also, we had a student in our class this year whose parents are both deaf. He really enjoyed being the expert on all sign language and deaf matters for us. It was really great to watch him light up when he could share his expertise. It really was a great experience!

Here's the summary from the book's website:

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.
One thing I really loved about this book was that the kids I read it to really loved it, and I loved it too - and I think we all enjoyed different aspects of it. It is a beautifully crafted story with amazing drawings. I wouldn't be surprised if this one was made into a movie too!

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