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The Marvels (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

"Brian Selznick's latest novel, The Marvels, begins in 1766, with four hundred pages of uninterrupted illustrations spanning a century and a half in the lives of a theatre dynasty. Weaving together fantasy and mystery, historical and contemporary settings, The Marvels is suspenseful and intriguing. It was easy, as a reader, to fall in love with the characters, the ghosts, and the history, and I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears at the ending. It fits in beautifully with the legacy begun in The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonder Struck-and is a strong contender for this year's Caldecott Award."

— Demi

"I say beautiful a lot when it comes to books I love – I can’t help it, they really are incredibly lovely when they reach through those black and white marks on the page and prod at your heartstrings. The Marvels is no exception – the first half of the book is told in a series of illustrations – cross-hatched and soft, like a dream where the edges are a bit blurry. Then the text starts, decades later and seemingly unrelated. As the stories intertwine, we learn the meanings of determination, family, loss, home, and especially love. If the cover alone weren’t enough to catapult this book to my favorites list, the imagination, heartbreak and hope within the pages certainly did it."

— Tomoko

"A dazzlingly illustrated marvel of a novel spinning a layered, epic story that's one part spectacle, one part family drama, and one part love story. Profound and surprising, this book begs to be read and discussed together, one generation with the next."

— Meghan


A breathtaking new voyage from Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick.

Two stand-alone stories--the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose--create a beguiling narrative puzzle.

The journey begins at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage.

Nearly a century later, runaway Joseph Jervis seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale's strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past.

A gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two stories connect, The Marvels is a loving tribute to the power of story from an artist at the vanguard of creative innovation.

About the Author

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, Wonderstruck, adapted into Todd Haynes's eponymous movie, and The Marvels. Among the celebrated picture books Selznick has illustrated are the Caldecott Honor Book The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, and the Sibert Honor Book When Marian Sang by Pam Muñoz Ryan. His books appear in over 35 languages. He has also worked as a bookseller, a puppeteer, and a screenwriter. He divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and San Diego, California.

Praise For…

Praise for The Marvels:

New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Children's Book
An Indie Bound #1 National Bestseller
Guardian Children's Book Prize Finalist
Publishers Weekly Best Book

* “Selznick continues his quest to shake up notions of illustrated novels, wordless storytelling, and the intersection of text and pictures in this newest volume . . . The novel as a whole is exactly the sort of theater that is so lovingly described within.” -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

* “Caldecott Medalist Selznick has been creating acclaimed illustrated novels for years now, and his latest takes his groundbreaking narrative format to new heights . . . [this] warm, affecting family tale is bittersweet, astonishing, and truly marvelous.” -- Booklist, starred review

* “. . . epic theater celebrating mysteries of the heart and spirit.” -- Kirkus, starred review

* “[A] powerful story about creating lasting art and finding family in unexpected places.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “Memorable, momentous.” -- School Library Journal, starred review
Product Details
ISBN: 9780545448680
ISBN-10: 0545448689
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Pages: 672
Language: English