"Selznick makes a structural departure from Hugo and Wonderstruck, placing panels as bookends to text and reworking the role of the drawn story. The book offers a compelling take on diversity, and in addressing diversity, shows the mix of healing, realization, and confusion that comes from helping others. The drawings in the first two-thirds of the book tell the story of how generations of a family came to be surrounded by the stage, whether at sea or grounded under a proscenium arch, until a fire threatens their legacy. The text, which makes up most of the remaining pages, offers a tale of a boy who runs away from boarding school to find his mysterious uncle. He hopes his uncle may help him find a lost friend, but he finds his uncle in mourning. In short time, the boy becomes obsessed with discovering his uncle’s secrets. I found the late-arriving twist that reveals the function of the pictures to be charming and the reasons for the twist to be captivating."— Todd Wellman
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
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