Ben is going through his mother's old belongings when a storm brews and lightning strikes the house. The force of the lightning goes through the phone he is holding against his ear, rendering him deaf. Instead of letting this setback in hearing bring him down, Ben decides that this is the perfect time for him to go to New York to try and find his father. Once there, he follows the tiny clues he has, until a chance encounter with a stranger from his past changes his life forever.
Selznick's first book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is all but a common sight in middle grade schools. I was a little late reading it, thinking that all of the hype was just that, but when I did finally read it, I was completely blown away. The beauty of the drawings and timing in the pictures, mixed with the fascinating story of a boy and clockwork things was enough to keep me glued to the book. Now with Selznick's second book, I was hoping lightning would strike twice. Unfortunately, while the drawings and timing still had that "tear-through-the-book" quality, the story wasn't as interesting for me. There is a breakneck speed at which the plot unfolds, but I never really felt invested in the characters enough to care about what was happening to them. Readers will be captivated by the silent action that unfolds for a magical reunion, but I am hoping Selznick's next book packs a little more punch.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars