Tag Archives: The Marvels

My Top 10 Children’s Fiction of 2015

There have been so many great children’s fiction titles this year.  I’ve been furiously reading books for ages 7-12 for my many school visits this year so that I would have some fantastic new books to introduce kids to. Here are my top 10 children’s fiction titles of 2015.

  1. 9780733333682The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing by Barry Hutchison
  2. Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
  3. The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey
  4. Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad
  5. Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
  6. The Porridge of Knowledge by Archie Kimpton
  7. The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  8. The Ghosts of Tarawera by Sue Copsey
  9. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  10. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (will review on the blog next year when it comes out in NZ)

My favourite children’s fiction title of 2015 is…Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad.  It has been one of the last books I’ve read this year but it really stands out for its wonderful characters and quirky humour.

My favourite series for children of 2015 is…The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey.  The combination of Aaron’s hilarious text and illustrations make this series an absolute winner!

 

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The Marvels by Brian Selznick

I fell in love with Brian Selznick’s stories when I first opened The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  Brian’s style of storytelling, alternating between text and illustration, really appeals to me.  His black and white illustrations are stunning and ‘reading’ them is like watching a movie.  I have been eagerly awaiting Brian’s new book, The Marvels, and I was completely captivated by it.

marvels_standingshot

The journey begins on a ship 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, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and 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.

The Marvels really is marvellous!  Brian Selznick has given us another incredible, unforgettable story and a beautiful work of art.  It’s difficult to know where to start when talking about The Marvels as there is just so much that I love about this book! I want to carry it around with me wherever I go.

The story is in two parts.  The first part is completely told through illustration and takes up the first 390 pages.  This tells the story of the Marvel family, starting with Billy and Marcus in 1766, who became a famous acting family.  Through Brian’s amazing illustrations we follow the many generations of the Marvel family until the story ends abruptly.  The story then jumps forward to 1990 and follows Joseph, a boy who loves stories, and his quest to find his uncle.  Joseph has run away from his school to find his uncle, Albert Nightingale. However, Uncle Albert isn’t quite who Joseph pictured.  Why is Albert’s house in such disarray, where are those mysterious sounds coming from, and why won’t Albert give Joseph any answers? Joseph knows that Albert is hiding a huge secret and it’s up to him to discover what it is.

Brian had me gripped from the very first page.  The way that Brian tells the story of the Marvel family, through illustration alone, makes the reader piece the story together themselves, rather than telling you with words.  It is almost like watching a silent movie.  Brian gives you different views of the action, from huge, sweeping shots of the Kraken being tossed on the waves, to close-up shots of character’s faces (like the one of Marcus below).  These close-up shots show so much detail and emotion.  It amazes me what Brian can do with a few strokes of a pencil!

marvels-mini-book_rev15

Image from The Marvels by Brian Selznick.

There are lots of twists and turns in the story that keep you guessing.  I certainly didn’t expect the secrets that were revealed, and to me that is a sign of a really good story.  The ending of the story is perfect too and left me smiling.

The Marvels is one of my top reads of the year.  It’s the perfect gift for any book-lover (just look at that lovely hard cover and gold edging!).  This is a must-read book and I guarantee you will fall in love with it.

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I Can’t Wait For…The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick’s books are absolutely stunning!  I love his artwork and the way that he tells a story using a combination of illustration and text.  The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck are some of my favourite books and they’re the sort of books I love just holding.  They are huge books but this is because of the way that Brian Selznick likes to tell his stories, alternating between pages of text and pages of illustration.

Brian Selznick has a new book being released in October, called The Marvels.  I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and read what is sure to be an amazing story.  Here is the cover, blurb and book trailer:

The journey begins on a ship 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, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and 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.

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