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Home > Categories > Books > Young Adult > The Marvels review

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Score: 9.0/10  [2 reviews]
4 out of 5
ProdID: 6692 - The Marvels
Written by: Brian Selznick

The Marvels
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Scholastic (NZ)

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Scholastic (NZ) or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
October 2015

The Marvels product reviews

Two seemingly unrelated stories. One in words, and the other in pictures, come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations.

Check out Scholastic (NZ) onlineClick here to see all the listings for Scholastic (NZ) Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account Check them out on Facebook They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

adventures   brian selznick   generational   history   pictures   scholastic   words
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Product reviews...

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Click here to read the profile of mizim

Review by: mizim (Miriam)
Dated: 14th of November, 2015

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This Review: 8.0/10
Score 8 out of 10
Score 8 out of 10
Lose Track of Time:
Score 8 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 8 out of 10

I loved the cover artwork for this book and so based upon that and the idea of a book melding together pages of just illustration with pages of just storytelling. When I saw it on a bookshelf after requesting my first thought was "oh dear, that's a rather big book" but when I got the book in hand the size of it didn't matter anymore. Just under the first four hundred pages are simple, black and white illustrations, they look like gorgeous pencil sketching's, which do a wonderful job at telling the story with very, very few words. Then we have the written story, the language isn't hard to follow and does a lovely job of giving just as good expression as the illustrated half.

There's a sense of mystery to this written story, the starting illustrations sets everything up for this perfectly and things don't quite go as you expect but it doesn't feel out of place nor fake. The characters are well thought out and I really was hoping for a happy ending for Joseph. The book ends on some illustrations to round out the book and there is a couple of pages on where the inspiration for this book came from. I really enjoyed it and my kids have enjoyed looking through the book at the pictures, I personally love the illustrations more than the written story, but all works wonderfully together.

Click here to read the profile of kymmage

Review by: kymmage (Kym)
Dated: 16th of October, 2015

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 10/10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Lose Track of Time:
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

I was strangely drawn to this book from the moment I saw it. Usually I wouldn't select to read such a huge book as part of a review, but the beautiful cover with it's almost electric blue and gold, and the golden tinge to all the pages were just magical and I couldn't stop thinking about the book. I read the jacket of the book and found that 400 pages in the book were going to be images. This really intrigued me, but I knew I would need to really pour over these images as I was "reading" them as well.

So I lay down with this book, and I started on the story. At first as I was taking in each picture, I started to say out loud what I was seeing. I didn't want there to be a chance of missing any details. The story unfolded so easily, and reminded me of storyboarding in a movie. The illustrations were beautiful in black and white, and haunting. I soaked in the history and the theatre of it. It reminded me somewhat of the Movie Hugo for some reason. Just in the style of the story. It was not until after finishing the book I found that this is the same writer of the book Hugo was based on.

As the writing started, I worried that I would find it difficult moving between the images and the words, but I didn't need to worry. The transition was easy enough and I was already so wrapped up in the Marvels family, I just wanted to know what happened to Leo and his grandfather. We end up jumping into 1990 from the 1800s and we meet Joseph and quickly afterwards Frankie. Nothing is as it seems with him, his mysterious uncle or with Frankie. His uncle's house seems haunted and a thrilling adventure unravels as Joseph tries to piece everything together.

I finished this book in one sitting and I honestly don't think that I could have walked away without finishing it. It was a truly magical read and I enjoyed the whole thing. A few sad bits happen, but there's a thread through this book drenched in English Literature and historical theatre which really spoke to me. I have a degree in English Literature so a few of the passages and book titles/authors shared were like old familiar friends. I even caught myself saying aloud a few times "oh, like back in that other book". It kind of helped to bring meaning to even the sadder things. I really liked all the characters too. They were all quirky in different ways, but still open and friendly souls.

Despite it's imposing size, I really would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a magical mystery. There's not necessarily magic afoot, but it feels like it. Anyone with a poetic soul would definitely enjoy this read too.

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