Blog Tour Giveaways

You Either See It Or You Don’t: The Marvels by Brian Selznick (Sneak Peek & Giveaway)

We are thrilled to be a stop on the blog tour for Brian Selznick’s newest book: The Marvels!

The Marvels tells two different stories, one through pictures, the other through words, and follows young Joseph as he tries to piece together clues found in his Uncle’s mystery-shrouded home about his family legacy. To gear up for the release of The Marvels, we have a few clues to unravel–and some goodies to reveal.

Clue #1: The Illustration

Sketch #1

Things we notice–the newspaper being clutched by the old-timey newspaper-reading man in overcoat says that the setting is London, and that apparently a kraken is involved in a shipwreck. (Did the kraken sink the ship? Was the ship’s name The Kraken? QUESTIONS.) Also immediately apparent is the fact that the boy and dog in the illustration are the eact same boy and dog featured on the newspaper–a detail that the woman in the bonnet behind the aforementioned old-timey newspaper-reading man has discovered to great alarm.

Clue #2: The Audio Clip

Joseph loves to read, and has just–we think–discovered his Uncle’s home. The explicit mention of “time travel”? Well that makes us think that time travel must play a role in this somehow. Also, Joseph’s uncle’s house sounds like it’s pretty cool.

Clue #3: The Artefact

The Marvels (Clue 3)

We received the following clue in the mail–a gold wristwatch stopped at 11:16 (and 23 seconds), with the date frozen on the number 22. The watchface is off-center, and the glass is scuffed at the 15 minute mark.

So…what does it all mean?!

We’re of the mind that Joseph and his dog Blink have a lot more in common with “The Marvels” and with Joseph’s “Uncle” than they think. Our theory is that time travel–or some kind of reincarnation–is involved. Taking into account the meta newspaper and framed illustration, the busted watch, and the audio sample, it seems like time travel is a next logical step!

But… we could be completely off-base. Tell us, what do YOU think? Got a theory–share it in the comments and use the entry form below to enter for a chance to win a hand-signed print from the author and a copy of the book.


About the Book

The Marvels

From the Caldecott Medal–winning creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck comes a breathtaking new voyage.

In this magnificent reimagining of the form he originated, two stand-alone stories—the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose—together create a beguiling narrative puzzle.

The journey begins on a ship 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, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and 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 narratives connect, The Marvels is a loving tribute to the power of story from an artist at the vanguard of creative innovation.

Check out the trailer for The Marvels below, or head over to the official website for more information.

About the Author

Photo Credit: Jamey Mazzie

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret which was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie Hugo. Selznick’s books have garnered countless accolades worldwide, and have been translated into over 35 languages. He has worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. He lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

About the Blog Tour:

The Marvels Blog Tour

Follow the YOU EITHER SEE IT OR YOU DON’T tour to hear mysterious recordings by Brian Selznick, get a sneak peek at artwork from the book, and discover souvenirs from inside THE MARVELS house. What do they mean? You either see it or you don’t.







The Giveaway:

We’ve got one signed Brian Selznick illustration, plus a copy of the book up for grabs! The sweepstakes is open to US addresses only and will run until Sunday September 11 at 12:01am (EST). To enter for a chance to win, use the form below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Patricia Wojnar Crowley
    September 7, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I think he’ll find out that he is destined to become a great performer!

  • Lexi
    September 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I think the ship is key, as it is on the cover and in the picture.

  • elena
    September 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I think it has to do something with time travel as well! Maybe it shows things he’s already going to do …

  • VanessaRenee
    September 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I think one of his ancestors was the boy both in the paper and the illustration and he will be drawn into an adventure to parallel the old one as he finds out about it.

  • Sharon
    September 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Time travel is the thing that leaps out. The survivor of a mysterious shipwreck is as likely to have washed up from the future as from the sea.

  • bn100
    September 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    maybe something with time travel

  • librarypat
    September 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I think Joseph and Blink have a connection to the past. Not necessarily time travel, but more along the lines of spirit and a touch of reincarnation. His uncle’s house is a step back in time because it has been preserved that way.

  • Rosie @ The Literary Hedonist
    September 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I agree with you– I think reincarnation is involved. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Angelique
    September 7, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    In his previous books Selznick uses real historical characters and events. So, I wondered if the specific time (11:16) and the date (the 22nd of some month) are the time of a key event in history — maybe something that led to a time leap? I’ve googled the time and day a little bit, but haven’t found anything that matches, though.

  • Kaitlyn A.
    September 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Maybe something to do with time travel??

  • Ashley
    September 7, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    I think something with time travel

  • Sui Generis
    September 8, 2015 at 12:28 am

    I think time travel is involved.

  • Tim R
    September 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    i think the newspaper is the key.

  • Kristen K
    September 8, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I’m intrigued by the “Kraken” ship name…perhaps sea monsters are involved!

  • Elizabeth
    September 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I agree–time travel does seem to be involved.

  • lisalc
    September 8, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Intersecting universes? With hauntings and sea monsters? I’m looking forward to finding out.

  • Donna Macdonald
    September 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Time travel has just got to be involved. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book to unravel the mystery!

  • Angie Jackson
    September 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

    The ship is used for time traveling.

  • DJ
    September 9, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I’m going with time travel.

  • Jenny Lussier
    September 10, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Such mystery! My students and I were intrigued by the book trailer! We too thought that time travel was involved, but that the characters were connected somehow too! Cannot wait to find out!

  • Sarah
    September 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Maybe the ship is actually a time machine?!

  • Brian Selznick’s “The Marvels” Comes Out This Week – And You Could Win A Copy of Your Very Own!
    September 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    […] week we got our first look at the book on the “You Either See It Or You Don’t” tour which featured various clues revealed on a number of different sites and it really got us […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.