by Brian Selznick
Scholastic Canada, 2015
$36, hardcover, 672 pp, ages 10+
The Marvels by Brian Selznick is an amazing novel that uses both illustrations and words to tell a story. The first 300+ pages of this novel are very detailed pencil drawings which the reader is able to put together as a story. The written part of the story starts in 1990 and explains the drawings that are dated 1766. Joseph runs away from his boarding school to look for his friend and find his uncle in London. Joseph’s uncle turns out to be a strange man who lives in a unique home. His uncle seems to keep many secrets about his life and home from his nephew. With help from Frankie, Joseph’s friend, the two find tapes that tell the story of the Marvels. Joseph wants to know if the Marvels story is true or not. Eventually, Uncle Albert tells Joseph the truth about the Marvels and more information about Uncle Albert’s history and the people who were important in his family. My favourite character in the story is Joseph. I could relate to him because he reads a lot like I do. This novel really caught my attention because of the illustrations since I like drawing a lot. The illustrations help to tell the story, but the words tell what the pictures are all about. Even though this is a very large novel I found it quick to read and I didn’t want to put it down because of the mysteries in the story.
Review by Connor, age 13, grade 9.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2016 issue.