By: Brian Selznick
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published Year: 2015
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.
I don’t remember how I heard about this book, but the cover definitely caught my eye. It’s really unique and is really beautiful. In addition to the cover, I knew that Brian Selznick had written The Invention Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, neither of which I have read but both of which I heard amazing things about. I decided it was finally time for me to read one of his books and this seemed like a good place to start.
What I thought
I feel like now I understand and I need to go and read every one of Selznick’s books. They are so unique and magical and I want more.
The Marvels is two stories that are separate but intertwined. The first 400 pages is a story told in only illustrations. The illustrations are beautiful and amazing and the story itself is magical (that word is probably going to come up a lot in this review)! I could not put it down once I started flipping through the illustrations. I have recently discovered that I enjoy graphic novels, and this was similar and just as enjoyable.
The next 200 pages are a written story following a boy who runs away from boarding school to his Uncle whom he’s never met. The two stories seem completely separate until partway through the written story. You think that you know how everything is connected, but nothing in this story is what it seems.
I loved all of the characters in this book and connected to them very quickly, even the ones in the illustrated portion. Both stories are relatively short, but Selznick does an amazing job with characterization development. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to any of the characters by the time I finished the story. I don’t think I can say much about this story without giving anything away, but I’ve never read anything like it and it is executed beautifully.
By: Brian Selznick