The Marvels

The Marvels

Book - 2015 | First edition
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Two stand-alone stories - the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose - create a beguiling narrative puzzle.The journey begins 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, runaway Joseph Jervis 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. A gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two stories connect, The Marvels is a loving tribute to the power of story from an artist at the vanguard of creative innovation. -- From amazon.com.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780545448680
0545448689
Call Number: j SELZNICK 2015
Characteristics: 391 unnumbered pages, 665 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

(Gr 4-6) Almost wordless illustrations introduce the Marvel family and the traditions they kept alive until one fateful night. Shifting in style (words instead of pictures) and time to 1990, unhappy Jacob runs away to find his Uncle Albert. He discovers him living in an historical manor, where it... Read More »

Checked it out before but had to return it. Just got it again. Definitely going to read it this time. I swear. (Christopher's pick)


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jcljessicaj Apr 02, 2020

I was so intrigued by this book. Two stories told, one by stunning illustration and one by text, that intersect at the end. The finale shocked me. Don't let the size of the book intimidate you; it's definitely worth the read.

w
Waluconis
Jun 06, 2019

This is a beautiful book to handle and read. I mean that the design and illustrations carry you away. You feel like you have found an old rare book, except it is in excellent condition. Also, Selznick uses the device of switching between graphic novel and straight prose exceptionally well, He utilizes that device especially cleverly here for reasons that fit perfectly with, and even enhance, the theme and content of the story. The "graphic novel" sequences have no words and are each full page, so reminiscent of the truly, all-time classics by Lynd Ward. However, if not overcome by the gorgeous materiality of the volume itself, I'm not sure what my reaction would have been to the story, which at times seemed a little overly sentimental. Maybe that was tempered by the rich "old book" feel.

l
loveseal516
Aug 04, 2018

A beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written book.

a
arta_2
Jul 04, 2018

The start of this book consists of about one hundred hand drawn illustrations
helping you understand the crucial main backstory. I have to admit this book is seriously beautiful and heartbreaking at some plots and I just can't stop reading it!
The ending is very bitter and saddening when his uncle unfortunately passes away but right before the ending, there is a surprise. (Similar to the other books in the series.)

KnightNight3000 Jun 16, 2018

I loved reading this book, I thought I was going to be a super long one when I saw the thickness of the spine but was surprised when most of the book is actually pictures telling the first half of the tale. I quickly became emotionally invested upon looking through the pictures, and even more so when it got to the part where the words were. The story is sweet, telling of family and memories, with a wonderful twist that makes it all the more enthralling. I enjoyed looking into the story behind the story too, and finding that the Marvel house was based off of a real place, I would love to visit it some day. I found it interesting that a friend of mine disliked it because she felt ripped off that she paid so much for the book to be mostly pictures, which I thought was silly. I found the price well worth the story, but to each their own I guess. I guess the theme of the book really rang true, "aut visum aut non," either you see it or you don't.

LPL_DanC Dec 01, 2017

A strange book and a good story for middle graders. The first half of the book consists entirely of hand-drawn pictures, a la Selznick's recent works--The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Wonderstruck. The other half consists of straight prose. The book presents, and resolves, a compelling mystery about a young runaway from a British boarding school who flees to his odd uncle's house in London. Why does his uncle live in a house that seems stuck in Victorian times, and who are the people his nephew hears in the house but never sees? The answers were not anything close to what I would have guessed, and finding them out kept me turning the pages.

ArapahoeLesley Oct 26, 2017

A lovely story with wonderful drawings. My first foray into Selznick's work, I found his inspiration fascinating and the way he structured his book unique and beautiful really.

DBRL_KrisA Dec 19, 2016

Roughly the first half of the book is in drawn form, similar to Selznick's most well-known work, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It tells the story of multiple generations of the Marvel family, from the shipwrecked Billy in 1766 through to his great-great-grandson, Leontes, in the early 1900s. The majority of the second half of the book takes up the story of Joseph, a young schoolboy of the 1990s who believes himself to be a descendant of the Marvel clan, and his arrival at the home of his uncle Albert.
There is nothing quite like openly crying over a book in your employer's staff lounge, and that's exactly what this book had me doing. I hesitate to give more details of the plot, and what specifically had me crying. Selznick's descriptions of the various relationships - between Joseph and Albert, Joseph and Frankie, between Frankie and her parents, but especially between Albert and Billy - are beautifully written.

ArapahoeAlyson Aug 11, 2016

I had been in a horrible reading slump - mysteries/thrillers too scary, romance too predictable, YA too full of 16 year olds who save the world while looking stunning, literary not relaxing enough... Thank you Brian Selznick for pulling me into this story about the power of stories. Slump over!

k
kaspr008
Jul 21, 2016

This is a really great book. The first few pages are filled with beautiful pencil drawn illustrations depicting the first half of the story.
Then, you are transported to the 1990s, and meet Joseph Jervis, a 13 year old boy who loves poetry and has ran away from his school in Germany.
He goes to London, where he finds his strange uncle, Albert Nightingale. Albert's house is full of strange objects, hiding some sort of family history. Joseph makes friends with Frankie, and looks for his friend Blink.
Anyway, this book will make your heart beat fast, make you cry and make you smile!
it's the best book ever

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sunshineboy
Mar 10, 2019

sunshineboy thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

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Red_Cat_41
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pink_monkey_241
Jul 05, 2016

pink_monkey_241 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 8

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kaspr008
Jul 03, 2016

kaspr008 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

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