I opened this book with an almost giddy feeling of anticipation, knowing I'd love it but not knowing quite what to expect. It's more fun if you don't know too much, so I'll try to share my excitement without revealing plot details. Wonderstruck weaves together two stories. One is told with words, the other with masterful drawings. Ben Wilson and Rose Kincaid are separated by 50 years, but they have some things in common. Both are longing for a missing parent. Both have lost their hearing. They're about the same age. And both leave home on a private quest. Rose lives in 1927, and Ben lives in 1977. Discovering how they come to occupy the same space fifty years apart, and find the comfort they seek, is your journey through Wonderstruck. In his exquisite pencil drawings, Brian Selznick creates Rose's world with a perfect combination of detail and shadowy suggestion. The facial expressions, especially the eyes, are most impressive. I also loved the detail in the architecture and other features of Rose's time period. The way Selznick sets the scene with clothing, cars, advertisements, museums and other landmarks made me want to be there with Rose in 1927 New York City. (What? No Hard Rock Cafe?)Ben's story is told in words, and it touches on some important themes. Ben's enthusiasm for the wonders of nature opens up that world of discovery in exciting ways. Through Ben we also see how a child aches for a lost parent, and the wishful thinking that follows such a loss. Deafness plays a large part in how the story unfolds, and Selznick has done his homework. How might the world be different for a deaf child? For Ben, there's the difficulty with communication, and also the disorientation of being in new surroundings while living in a silent world. He's in a big, unfamiliar city, and his confusion is magnified by his inability to hear the noises that should warn him of danger. What a relief it is for him when he finds a friend who is not only patient enough to communicate in writing, but even teaches him a little sign language. Wonderstruck is recommended for Grades 4 and up. For the intended youthful audience, it deserves the full five stars. Just examining the details in the 460+ pages of drawings would have captivated me for hours as a child. For adult readers this is closer to a four-star book. My adult mind picked out some holes in the plot that I never would have noticed when I was a youngster.