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Featured books by Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick's art breathes life into imaginary characters, makes historical figures real for contemporary readers, and changes a traditional novel into a cinematic experience. Many of his books can be read by young readers but hold appeal for those more practiced. Selznick's art adds immeasurably to stories, real and fantastic; written by the illustrator or by others. Meet Brian Selznick through his art and work recommended here.

Houdini Box

By: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When he was 10 years old, Victor wanted to be just like master magician Harry Houdini. For years Victor did not realize what magic he held in his hands with a box initialed "E.W." What happened years later when Victor discovered that Houdini's given name was Ehrick Weiss creates a plausible and captivating glimpse at a major historical figure.

The Boy of a Thousand Faces

By: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Though only 10 years old, Alonzo King wants to be the "boy of a thousand faces" just like his favorite actor Lon Chaney is the "man of a thousand faces" in the horror movies that Alonzo watches on late-night television. As Halloween approaches, Alonzo becomes an expert in using make-up and knowledge of The Beast.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Image and text combine in a unique presentation to tell the story of an orphan boy who lives between the walls of a Paris train station and repairs its clocks. Monochromatic illustrations change perspective and move in and out, and alternate with text to tell this mysterious, breathtaking, and riveting tale. Winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal.

The Robot King

By: Brian Selznick
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lonely and isolated, Lucy and Ezra build a robot that comes alive to become the Robot King. The Robot King leads the children on a fantastic, almost surreal adventure until the children return home when they see their father. Handsome illustrations make a complicated tale become tangible and real.

Wonderstruck

By: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two stories of different young people, one told wordlessly using illustration, the other in narrative, converge in this uniquely told, riveting book.

Books illustrated by Brian Selznick

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two well known women sneak away from the White House for an aerial adventure in this handsomely illustrated story based on real people. Though fictionalized, readers will appreciate the common interests and similar personality traits of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

Riding Freedom

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Charlotte Parkhurst could do almost anything with horses. Once out of the orphanage, Charlotte masquerades successfully as a man named Charley, and in spite of huge obstacles is able to drive a stagecoach and work with horses. Based on a real person, Charley also became the first woman to cast her vote in the state of California.

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

By: Barbara Kerley
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mr. Hawkins was a 19th century British artist with a passion for dinosaurs. This illustrated biography introduces the man, his time, and how he worked both to satisfy his own curiosity and stimulate that same curiosity in others. Additional notes from both the author and illustrator provide insight into the person and how his knowledge evolved.

The Meanest Doll in the World

By: Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Because of a mix-up, best doll friends Annabelle and Tiffany are sent to the wrong house where they must deal with Mimi, a doll who thinks she's the queen of all and whose behavior is perfectly ghastly. Readers who were first introduced to these characters in Doll People will enjoy seeing them again.

The Robot King

By: Brian Selznick
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lonely and isolated, Lucy and Ezra build a robot that comes alive to become the Robot King. The Robot King leads the children on a fantastic, almost surreal adventure until the children return home when they see their father. Handsome illustrations make a complicated tale become tangible and real.

The Runaway Dolls

By: Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Annabelle and her friend, Tiffany — both dolls come to life — soon learn that running way for any reason is full of pitfalls. The dolls' third adventure (The Doll People and The Meanest Doll in the World) is illustrated cinematically by a Caldecott Medalist.

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Marian Anderson was an extraordinary contralto whose talent was celebrated in Europe long before she was recognized in her native United States. Anderson's focus, musical talent, and the difficult times in which she lived are captured in a dramatic picture book biography.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor