Friday, March 11, 2016

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

The Marvels
by Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick's masterful illustrations and writing are combined in this beautiful tome which captures your attention immediately with the elaboratly decorated cover and gilded pages. The first part of the story (approximately half of the 665 pages) is told with Selznick's signature style of illustrations, black and white, telling the story of a lone survivor - Billy Marvel - of a shipwreck in 1766. As the story progresses the reader follows the Marvel family through five generations of actors and theater life.

Abruptly the Marvel story ends (as do the pictures) and a new story (in text form) begins in 1990 as Joseph runs away from school to locate his eclectic and estranged Uncle Albert. Joseph finds himself in a home unluck he has never been. 

How are the two stories connected? Who are the Marvels? What connection do they have to Uncle Albert and Joseph? All of the questions will be answered in this marvelous story loosely based on The Dennis Severs House located in Spitalfields, London.

Brian Selznick created a wonderful book trailer for this book. It can be seen on The Marvels website.

I highly recommend reading any and all of Mr. Selznick's other books, such as the following.
  • The Houdini Box (1991)
  • The Boy of a Thousand Faces (2000)
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007) - Caldecott Winner
  • Wonderstruck (2011)

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