The Marvels by Brian Selznick ~ Review by Fallon

The Marvels by
Hardcover, 640 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2015 
by Scholastic Press
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Caldecott Award winner  and bookmaking trailblazer Brian Selznick once again plays with the form he invented and takes readers on a voyage!

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.

Fallon's Review:

Thank you Scholastic for sending me an ARC for review. This in no way affected my opinion in my review.

While reading The Marvels I kept wishing the pictures were interwoven and kept finding myself having to look back when the story would reference a piece of art or something I remembered seeing in the beginning of the book. The art and how much art that was in the beginning and not incorporated through the story was one of my biggest issues. 

This story did not feel Middle Grade. I know the main character is younger but it felt more like a classic staple to someone's collection. It transitioned to all ages. The shining light to The Marvels was the mystery you just had to uncover. I never saw the ending coming and enjoyed the facts in the back and how the story was inspired by a real person.

Thank you Scholastic for providing me with an ARC this was my first book I have read of Brian Selznick and now I am intrigued to look into his other books.

About the Author

Hello there. My name is Brian Selznick and I’m the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was born in 1966 in New Jersey. I have a sister who is a teacher, a brother who is a brain surgeon, and five nephews and one niece. I studied at The Rhode Island School of Design and after I graduated from college I worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. I learned all about children’s books from my boss Steve Geck who is now an editor of children’s books at Greenwillow. While I was at Eeyore’s I also painted the windows for holidays and book events.

My first book, The Houdini Box, which I both wrote and illustrated, was published in 1991 while I was still working at the bookstore. Since then, I have illustrated many books for children, including Frindle by Andrew Clements, The Doll People by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin, Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which received a 2001 Caldecott Honor.

I have also written a few other books myself, including The Boy of a Thousand Faces, but The Invention of Hugo Cabret is by far the longest and most involved book I’ve ever worked on.

I live in Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.


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