The Boy of a Thousand Faces by Brian Selznick.
HarperCollins Publishers: NY, 2000.

Having relatives in the earlier motion picture business (Lewis J. and sons, David O. and Myron Selznick) must have made quite an impression on Brian Selznick. His books are so focused on theatrical performance. The Boy of a Thousand Faces carries this fascination to the extreme with a boy entranced by early horror movies. He lives the stories through his imagination, and he creates his own beasts, keeping a photo album for posterity. His goal is to exhibit 1000 faces.

The boy has a neighbor who shares his passion for the old movies. He gives him monster stamps (displayed on the end pages of the book). He encourages him in his exploration, and he concocts a story that sparks the interest of others.

The beginning of the story is too funny. There are some fantastic pictures which are integrated with the story. I think many people-young boys especially-go through a period of utter fascination with creatures of horror or things defying explanation. The awe and suspense are a great part of what captures boys attention. At this level of reading the ability to capture their attention is crucial.

The vocabulary in this book may be more challenging than some short novels, but the text is very short and high interest.

related-horror films, monsters, Halloween, Lon Chaney, costume, makeup, living fantasy, imitation of stories, transitional books
RL=2nd-4th, younger for early readers

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