I've been struggling to shelf this book, as I usually try to do so by genre or what made the book special. But how do you even start to describe a book that part novel and part graphic novel? I've shelved it for now with the graphic novels, in the hope I'll one day find a better solution, because that was the part that made this book very special for me.
I haven't read The Invention of Hugo Cabret yet, but when my sister brought Wonderstruck home, I knew I really wanted to read it. And I'm very glad I did. I won't tell too much about the story, because it is so wonderful to see and find out for yourself. Ben, deaf in one ear who's never known his father but wants to find him, tells his story through words, whereas Rose's story is told in pictures.
The novel is over 600 pages, but a lot of them are pictures, so this book is very readable (also for younger children). You can easily read the book in a single afternoon, if you wish. I was immediately sucked into the story and couldn't stop reading it. It's a very original and beautifully written children's book. (Of course, if you want to, you could comment on the storyline that's not always completely realistic, but I like to look to this book more as a modern fairy tale, more as an Noah Barleywater).
Some of the pictures were really beautiful, I especially like some of the close-ups of Rose. One minor comment, I read the Dutch translation, and some (most) of the text was translated from the pictures, however, sometimes, in one screen the text was translated and in the next it wasn't. That felt slightly off, and a bit lazy. But nonetheless, it's a very special book, half words, half pictures. I'd recommend it!
Note: I read a Dutch translation of this book.