Holy cow—I needed a break when I was done reading this one. Another beautiful fiction story woven by artist and storyteller Brian Selznick, this tale spends some time in the past and some time in the present, weaving together a beautiful history of one boy’s family.
The novel opens with pictures that detail the history of the Marvel family, starting with Billy in 1776 and ending suddenly, mid-action with Leo, Billy’s great-great-grandson. The center of the book then follows Joseph, a young boy running away in the year 1990.
Through this story, we get to know more about Joseph, his uncle, and the mysterious Marvel family. The story that unfolds is both heart-warming, heart-breaking, and soul-filling. It’s about finding your family with those who love you, and about telling the stories that warm you up from the inside, even if they’re a bit painful.
I absolutely LOVED this book. I fell in love with the Marvel family, I grieved with them, I even plotted out their family unit as I was reading. I loved every moment I got to spend with them. And then I got to meet Albert and Joseph and Blink and I fell in love with them too. How could anyone not?
I fell in love with the storytelling, with the mystery of the Marvels, and with the way the story concluded. There was one moment where I worried that the end wasn’t real, and it was just Joseph imagining the future, but then I realized that the time jump and the child fit the exact mold of the overall story and knew it would all be okay.
What an incredible job Mr. Selznick did when he created this book—it’s by far one of my favorite read of all time. There’s a great line from the book that describes how I feel having just finished it: “…and his heart nearly broke with love.”
I highly recommend this one—six out of five stars!