Kaleidoscope by Brian Selznick
Who it’s for: Kids, Teens
“We stood side by side, holding hands. I thought about an hourglass, where the sand is pouring down from above until the top half is empty. My head felt like the top half of the hourglass, and I could feel everything pouring out – my thoughts, my memories, my past, all the books of I’d read, all the diagrams of telephones I’d memorized, my family, my dreams, my fears. I was dissolving and becoming something new.”
This collection of short stories is a magical and mysterious exploration of loss, loneliness, and longing. Each story is linked by reoccurring themes and motifs, but most notably by the connection between the narrator and his friend, James. With settings that shift over time, space, memory, and dreams, these vignettes interspersed with Selznick’s illustrations form a tapestry examining love, friendship, and the grief that follows loss.
While Kaleidoscope is suggested for young readers ages 9-12, the overarching themes and speculative writing style will also appeal to teens and adults.