Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Marvels by Brian Selznick...

How I Heard About It:  Two of my favorite books on my classroom bookshelf are The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck.  They are not only beautiful books, but they are incredible stories.  I was quite excited when I learned that Brian Selznick was releasing a third and new novel.  This was another title that I bought right away, but sat on my bedside table for a bit of time.  

What It Is About:  The first part of the novel is told in photographs.  Beautiful photographs.  They tell the story of Billy Marvel in 1766 aboard a ship that becomes shipwrecked.  Billy finds works in a theater in London and remains there with a growing family until the early 1900's.  The Marvel family must leave when Leontes is banished from the theater.  The next section of the book is told in text.  It begins with Joseph Jervis who runs away from his school to finds his uncle who lives in London.  His Uncle Albert's house is not your typical home.  Joseph encounters strange paintings, ghostly presence, and other odd happenings.  He begins a search that leads him on a journey that exposes his family, their past, and more about this strange house.  The last part of the novel brings us back to the first part of the story with more beautiful and incredible photographs.  Definitely a full circle moment.  

What I Thought Of It:  The books captivated me just as Selznick's first two stories did.  I loved the pictures and the way they told the first and last part of the story.  The middle part with Joseph's story was just as intriguing.  I'm always amazed at the talent of this author and how he can tell a story via pictures and words.  This will book will sit proudly next to the first two books.  

Who Should Read It:  As I think about the students in my class who would be able to handle and understand this story, there are many that come to mind.  I don't think all fourth grade readers would be able to take it all in.  Readers in fifth and sixth grade would be better suited for it.  If a parent shared the book with their child, then a younger reader would be able to enjoy the truly beautiful story.  Adults readers that have experience the first two books, need to read this one for sure.  Happy Reading! 

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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