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Brian Selznick Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Houdini Box (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Robot King (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boy of a Thousand Faces (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonder Struck (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Marvels (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Baby Monkey, Private Eye (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kaleidoscope (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Big Tree (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Hugo Movie Companion (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wonderstruck Movie Scrapbook (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Half-Minute Horrors(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Letter Q(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Brian Selznick is American author of Arts & Photography and Children’s books. As a child, Brian Selznick always got into trouble for drawing monsters. Unlike many people, that did not discourage him, and instead of letting go of his hobby, he is now a Caldecott-winning author best known for illustrating children’s books. Born on 14th July 1966 Selznick was raised in the East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. Selznick is married to David Serlin and lives in New York, Brooklyn and San Diego, California.

He studied and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and after that worked in Manhattan at the Eeyore’s Books for children where he served for three years alongside writing his first book, The Houdini Box a picture book.

Brian Selznick is a man of many awards. In 2008 the author was awarded the Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association for the best-illustrated picture book of the year, naming his book The of Invention of Hugo Cabret. Other awards won by Selznick include; The Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Christopher Award, and the Rhode Island Children’s Book award.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret was adapted into a 2010 historical adventure movie by the name Hugo featuring famous movie stars Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley, Assa Butterfield, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Sacha Baron and Christopher Lee.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hugo has his life inside the walls of a busy train station in Paris. He is an orphan, a clock keeper and also a thief. Inside those walls, his existence relies on secrets and as well as his anonymity. This routine runs on well until one day his world crosses paths with an odd, bookish girl and a bitter old man who operates a toy booth inside the station. From this encounter, the secret and anonymous life that Hugo leads together with his most treasured secret is all put at risk of being exposed.

With his father dead and his uncle gone missing, Hugo decides to focus his life in concentrating an automaton. Though this robot is different from others for it can write, all that the automaton requires is one special key. The key (that Hugo manages to steal), a small treasured notebook, a cryptic drawing, a mechanical man and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father are all connected. These build the foundation to the complex, soft and spellbinding mystery in The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Will Hugo successfully solve all the puzzles and still manage to accomplish his ambitions?

The marvels

The year is 1766. It all begins at sea where the story introduces the readers to a young boy named Billy Marvels. Having survived a shipwreck (the only survivor), Billy finds a job in a theater in London. For many generations, his family thrived in the theater as excellent actors. Things run swiftly until 1900 when a young member of the Marvels family, Leontes Marvel, is kicked out of the stage.

Close to a hundred years later, a runway named Joseph Jervis goes to London to seek refuge in his uncle’s place. Joseph’s mind is captivated by the beautiful, strange house full of mysterious portraits and ghostly presences. This strange house that belongs to his uncle Albert Nightingale sets him on a path to start a search for clues about the house and to learn more about his family and the past. He works day and night to unravel the century-old stories about the place which bear the key to the ancient secrets of the house and also how he is connected to it. His uncle’s reluctance to help him is eyebrow-raising, and it makes it evident that he is keeping secrets.

What makes fiction? Are true stories of more importance than the fictions ones? These are questions that any book, most especially one created for the young audience, aims to answer. In his book, The Marvels, Brian Selznick addresses this issue head-on. The author does not shy away from tackling tough questions. The book is created in complications, echoes, and reflections and peeling back the layers making an exciting, vibrant and surprising experience.

The Houdini box

The mystery of the Houdini is the foundation of the book. A boy named Victor idolizes the Houdini and wishes that he could be like him. Victor is always making attempts to escape from trunks that are locked up or walk through walls. He is always trying to perform any number of the Houdini’s many fantastic magic pranks. However, ever since he started not even once made his efforts bear fruits; it was always with no success.

Then one day it happens that he got a chance to meet the man he looks up to, Harry Houdini. Victor pleads with the Houdini to explain to him how he manages to perform the tricks this is after Victor accidentally bumps on the Houdini in a train station and the man invites Victor to his house. Victor who was expecting a detailed answer only gets a mysterious locked box having the initials E.W. from the Houdini’s widow because the same day that victor goes to visit is the same day that the Houdini passes on. Victor is left full of questions, more questions than answers. Does the mysterious box bear the secrets to performing the famous magic tricks that he plays?

Victor is unable to open the box, and he ends up thinking that it did not belong to the Houdini, so he decides to lock it away in his closet and he even attempts to forget his dreams. Several years later victor gives birth to a son, and it is then that he gets to learn what E.W meant.

The Houdini box tells a tale of a young man who is deeply consumed by the magic tricks of Harry Houdini. Fortunate for him, he lives during Houdini’s period and mostly finds himself getting locked into rooms and boxes and tied up in attempts to recreate these amazing magic tricks. Selznick has woven one thrilling novel, well-crafted primary and secondary characters and with a steady plot that will keep the readers hooked from the first page to the last.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Brian Selznick

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