This book was one of the best I have ever read. Sometimes a story can transport you like none other, and this one certainly did that.
Wonderstruck takes place in the 1970s, where the main character, Ben, is plagued with life's mishaps that keep piling up. But these don't defeat our hero, and he finds a mission to find a father he has never met. At the same time, another story unfolds, through beautifully wrought illustrations. At the end of the story the reader understands how these relate.
This approach to storytelling was definitely "out of the box", and it worked very well. The words complemented the artistic works, and vice-versa.
The author obviously cares for the characters of the story, and they are all well-played out. There is enough detail to make it seem like you are there, but not so much as to bog the story down. Each character is distinct and has a different voice, something that aspiring authors can learn from. There is no better way to learn story-telling techniques than by seeing them in action, and this story definitely does that.
The story pulls on the emotions, too. Here is a young teen, in a dangerous city, vulnerable and virtually helpless, while he is still determined to pursue his need to find that missing element in his life.
I highly recommend this story for the young and young at heart.