From Kate McDonnell, Quality Practice Manager and Eamee Boden, Wirral Apprentice
Every Friday morning, Eamee (one of The Reader Organisation’s young apprentices) and I sit down for an hour for a catch-up about the ups and downs of the week and a read together, but the last few weeks have been really special. We’ve been reading Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick which has been so captivating that we’ve found it hard to drag ourselves away to get on with the day! The book follows the separate stories of two lost children: one is told in words, and the other in beautifully detailed drawings – like stills from a silent film. The pictures made us tell the story to each other – reading the faces and voicing our feelings about what was happening. Here are Eamee’s thoughts on the experience:
“The last few weeks Wonderstruck has enabled me to look forward to something each Friday morning. Everything from the pictures, to the story, right down the mysteries that needed to be solved, has just made me want to get up in the morning. When I choose a book to read, I always judge it how it looks on the cover and how big it is for the reading to take place, but I know with that method of choosing a book isn’t always a good idea.
The book was recommended by Anna Fleming, one of TRO’s project workers, who had read this book with her 1-1’s with looked-after children because Kate and I needed something new to read. We just jumped at the chance at reading this. It was one of those books that you just didn’t want to ever end, and it was most certainly a real page turner. When it came to the pictures of Rose’s story, it made me stop and just admire how beautiful they were. I didn’t just turn the page straight away then; it kept me there for like 10 seconds, and sometimes if something stood out in the picture I would question what would be going on and how it would all pan out.
In Wonderstruck, there are 2 stories, one about a girl and the other a boy. When I said I didn’t want it to end I wanted each story to last even longer than it actually was. It is a mystery as well as a book that just grabbed you into the story itself; it just made you feel as if you were actually a part of everything that was happening. I like the fact it made us stop. Neither Kate nor I hadn’t read it before; neither of us knew if we were right or wrong so to read something that we just couldn’t put an answer to was in a way what just kept us going each week.
At the very beginning there are pictures of wolves, not knowing what they were about, Kate and I were puzzled but that just kept us going, and then at the very end of the book the wolves’ reappeared but it clicked why and it all made sense.
When we completed this magnificent book, we simply had to celebrate. That wasn’t with a glass of wine, no; we celebrated by going off to the Planetarium in the afternoon at the Museum in Liverpool. And for somebody who had never been there, not even when I was a small child, I felt really pleased that Kate took me there and we had a really lovely afternoon. Just going to the Planetarium made it feel that we were part of that book. And although I should have known what one was, I didn’t and I was glad I had the opportunity to go and now know what it is.”
We decided to go to the Museum to celebrate after we finished because some of the book is set in the New York Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium features in it, as well as a diorama of wolves. We had a great afternoon there and Eamee managed to find a montage of wolves which could have come straight out of the book!
Did we become a bit wonderstruck by Wonderstruck? I guess we did…
Wonderstruck is certainly a favourite here at The Reader Organisation! Read a review from one of the young people we work with who enjoyed the book.