The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Hardcover, 2007


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Call number

J Sc


Scholastic Press (2007), Edition: 1st, 533 pages


When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

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Media reviews

The story is an engaging meditation on fantasy, inventiveness, and a thrilling mystery in its own right. No knowledge of early cinema is necessary to enjoy it, but for those who do know just a little, the rewards are even greater.
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The carefully selected details make Hugo Cabret feel like, well, a machine, full of tiny interlocking parts, built to fuel a curious child’s lifelong infatuation with wonder.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is full of magic ... for the child reader, for the adult reader, the film lover, the art lover, for anyone willing to give it a go. If you’re scared of the size or the concept, don’t be. Open your mind, pour Selznick’s creation in, and be reminded of the dream of
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With The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the American illustrator/author Brian Selznick seems to have invented a new kind of book. It's at once a picture book, a graphic novel, a rattling good yarn and an engaging celebration of the early days of the cinema. All in black and white.
It is wonderful.

User reviews

LibraryThing member PhoenixTerran
The Invention of Hugo Cabret tended to catch my attention whenever I saw it on the shelf, but it wasn't until now that I actually picked it up to read. It's not often a tome of such size is published for younger readers. The book clocks in at well over five hundred pages, but nearly three hundred
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of those are original illustrations. So, it is much less daunting than it first appears--for the reader, at least. I can only imagine the amount of effort the author and illustrator, Brain Selznick, put into this "novel in words and pictures." The Invention of Hugo Cabret truly is an impressive achievement.

Hugo Cabret is a young orphan living in a Paris train station in the early 1930s. He steals to survive--bottles of milk, warm croissants, even small mechanical toys from the toymaker's booth. Hugo lives in the walls of station, caring for all its clocks like his uncle showed him to and hiding from the station inspector. But when he is caught by the bitter toymaker, Hugo and the secrets he keeps are put in jeopardy. Using illustrations to help tell the story directly, Selznick has created a wonderful tale of mystery. It is historical fiction of the best kind and can be appreciated by younger and older readers alike.

Oh, and what exactly the invention is is revealed at the end of the book; it certainly put a smile on my face. However, Hugo's devotion to secrecy can be a little frustrating at times. Although the story is a delight in its own right, what really impresses is the use, quantity, and quality of the artwork. Selznick uses real-life people as models for the inspiration of the look of his characters. This allows him to be unerringly consistent in their portrayal, even when their general appearance has substantially changed. The original illustrations are executed in pencil while black and white stills from early films and sketchbooks are also included when appropriate to the story. The interplay between the illustrations, images, and text is expertly executed--the prose describing what can't be seen and the art describing what can. Occasionally, the text to illustration ratio seemed a bit off, but for the most part the story flowed beautifully.

The book is stunning and the illustrations are gorgeous. In some ways, it was like a silent film (complete with a dramatic chase sequence) only in book form. As any historical fiction should do, The Invention of Hugo Cabret whet my appetite for investigating the time period and subject matter further. Fortunately, Selznick has provided a good starting point with his "Acknowledgements" and "Credits" sections at the end of the book. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a heartwarming story and the work well deserves the Caldecott Medal it has been awarded (among all the other awards it has collected). I'm not familiar with Selznick's other books, but if The Invention of Hugo Cabret serves as any sort of an example, he's definitely an author and illustrator to follow.

Experiments in Reading
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LibraryThing member Smiler69
Set in 1931 Paris, this story begins at the central train station, where the recently orphaned Hugo Cabret, living in a run-down room hidden within the walls of the station, makes the rounds every day to ensure all the clocks run on time. He spends the rest of his day and a good part of the night
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trying to fix a very special windup toy he's salvaged from the remains of a burned-down museum. But the owner of the station's toy shop, where Hugo has been stealing toy parts for his special project, catches Hugo one day and takes away a precious notebook of his containing all the drawings and notes he needs to finish his labour of love. A wonderful story about a crafty little boy, the wonder, magic and history of cinema, and how a little thief came to be adopted by a filmmaking genius. This beautiful book is filled with gorgeous illustrations which alternate with the text to help tell the story. I loved.
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LibraryThing member keristars
Somehow, The Invention of Hugo Cabret didn't really work for me. I think I may have expected a slightly different storyline from it (more fantastic, perhaps?), but I also found the illustrations to be a bit in the uncanny valley, especially profile views of faces. Also, too, I'm not entirely sure
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the way Selznick paired illustration and text quite worked for me. That's not to say I didn't like the combination - some of the sequences were quite good, and the way the text was played with to change the pacing by using less or more on a page was interesting. It's just the overall feel wasn't quite right.

I'm also not sure that the story itself was enough to counterbalance the rest of it that was only okay. The plot felt underdeveloped and short for such an enormous book, and it was full of cliché elements, besides. The primary interesting elements were the location - the Montparnasse train station - and the clockwork (and, by extension, the discovery of Méliès's filmography). The character interactions felt rudimentary to me, and the middle section where Méliès is apparently ill from being confronted with his work was very strange and didn't make any sense to me, especially considering how he acts at the end of the book.

I don't think it's a bad book, and I can see why it won an award, and I really liked the inclusion of film stills and photos of actual things, which gave the story a sense of reality, but I think I had too high expectations that it just didn't meet.

All that said, I did like the final words of the book, which were an interesting almost meta-statement, but it's spoiling too much to repeat them.
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LibraryThing member Berly
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is AMAZING!! I totally loved the story, told through intermixed words and pictures. Not just a picture here and there, but long stretches, pages of images, conveying a chase scene or zooming in on an important detail. The book flowed effortlessly between the two mediums
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of words and art. A charming story set in a train station in Paris. An orphaned boy, an eccentric girl and a cranky toy vendor all circle around the mystery of a broken robot man. Each has secrets they want to keep and holes in their lives that need filling. A stolen notebook, a heart-shaped key, enchanting drawings all add up to a great mystery. And on a side note, I love how the image of the man in the moon plays such an important part in this book. I remember seeing this movie snippet when I was a little kid, although I cannot recall where I saw it and why it left such an impression.

The book is also a movie, Hugo, which was also outstanding. Great filmwork. Both earn five stars. For ingenuity, for taking a new approach to story telling, and for a clever blend of story and history.
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LibraryThing member PghDragonMan
I can think of only one word to sum up Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret: unique. It is hard to say which fascinated me more, the wonderful black and white sketches or the written story. The illustrations, seemingly simple pencil on paper drawings, show an amazing amount of detail
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when you take the time to study them and very much add to the impact of the book. The words, like the drawings, are simple, yet they convey all the emotion needed to keep you reading the entire story at single sitting. The other illustrations, taken from early movies, further enhance the enchantment this work weaves on you.

Hugo Cabret blends a wonderful fantasy of orphaned children with the history of early cinema. A young boy, living by his wits in a train station, has a mysterious mechanical doll as the only remembrance of his father. A young girl, living with her godparents, has a mystery of her own, as do the godparents. All the makings of a classic children’s story, except the story takes place in France of the early 1930’s. Selznick captures the feel of the time in both words and pictures much better than many authors of stories aimed at adult audiences.

A great addition to anyone’s library, regardless of their age. The story is entertaining enough for parents to read to their kids and both children and parents will equally enjoy the illustrations. The foreign words will provide some challenge for avid young readers. Adults may find themselves reading this as a work of art to be appreciated for its own beauty and flight of fantasy . . . just like the early days of cinema depicted in the pages.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
Hugo is the orphaned son of a clockmaker. He lives in a small room in a train station in Paris in the 1930s. His father was in the midst of trying to fix an automaton when he dies unexpected, leaving his son alone in the world. Hugo attempts to continue his father’s work, while trying to survive
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on his own.

This graphic novel is fanciful and sweet and just the right blend of drawings and text. The story sweeps you along and you find yourself running through the streets of Paris with Hugo, evading police and stealing milk. Hugo is caught stealing by a man who runs a toy shop and soon their lives become intertwined.

Selznick works bits of fact and historical trivia into the book. I love it when authors do that, because adds a richness to the story. He makes it clear, in an endnote, what is fact and what is fiction.

The book looks huge, but I read it all in one sitting. The drawing and photos supplement the text and so it flies by. It was just delightful. I heard Martin Scorsese is making a film version and I can’t wait to see it come to life on the big screen. I think this is the kind of book that would actually work well as a movie.
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LibraryThing member -Eva-
I’m completely enamored with the format of this book. Parts of it are told purely via illustrations – they take over the narration completely. Especially the chase-scenes are fascinating to “read,” because they get the adrenaline up, just as a chase-scene in a movie would. There are regular
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illustrations as well, but these action sequences are what makes the book really extraordinary.

The story itself is not that original, but Selznick’s research into the automaton and George Méliès’ films enhances it exponentially. I remember Méliès from my college film history classes and I was absolutely delighted when I realized his part in the story. At the first mention of A Trip to the Moon, the movie with the crash-landing on the moon, I was hooked and wanted to find out the connection between those imaginative, if a bit crazy, films and the book.

All in all, it’s a fantastic idea, beautifully executed, and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone I know.

Note: If you are a Smashing Pumpkins fan, their video to “Tonight, Tonight” was inspired by Méliès’ films.
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LibraryThing member labfs39
I love well-written books about spunky, intelligent kids who have interesting, reflective lives, and that's part of the reason I loved this book. The other reason is that Brian Selznick creates something unique and beautiful in this Caldecott Medal winner. Not a graphic novel in the typical sense,
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it's a "novel in words and pictures", to use the book's subtitle. To me, the difference is that whereas a graphic novel integrates words and pictures, Selznick tells a continuous story sometimes in all pictures and sometimes in text. The alternating style is fresh and effective, and the author's art is sumptuous. Using only charcoal and much hatching, Selznick creates lifelike and yet dreamy drawings that evoke sympathy, fear, and wonder by turns. Frequently, he will use a series of telescoping pictures to increase tension until all we see on the page is a grasping hand or a frightened eye. Beautifully done.

The plot line is that of Hugo Cabret and his efforts to rebuild an automatan his father was working on when he died. Living alone inside the walls of a train station, Hugo tends to all the clocks in the building daily in an effort to keep the stationmaster from noticing that he is now living alone. Since he cannot cash paychecks, Hugo must resort to snatching food where and when he can. But his most pressing concern is to find the parts to finish the automatan: a mechanical man seated at a desk with a pen in his hand. Fixing the mechanical toy is not only an outlet for Hugo's creative energy and talent as a horologist, but keeps alive a connection with his dead father.

Hugo finds most of his parts at the station's toymaker's booth run by an old man and a girl about Hugo's age. One day the toymaker catches him and takes away the precious notebook in which Hugo's father kept all his notes about the automatan. Without it Hugo fears that he will never be able to finish, but with the help of the girl, Isabelle, Hugo is able to reclaim much more than a notebook. As he slowly learns to trust both Isabelle and her friend Etienne, the three embark on a mission to solve a mystery involving magicians, filmmakers, and secrets. The fascinating information about early filmmaking is well-researched and brilliantly woven into the story, both in words and visually.

For readers of young adult literature and art lovers alike, this book is delightful. I hope you will give it a try.
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LibraryThing member phebj
This is another fantastic graphic novel recommended by at least ten other LTers (and now me). Hugo Cabret is an orphan living in a Paris train station in 1931 desperately trying to feed himself and keep all the clocks in the station on time so no one realizes his uncle, the Timekeeper, has
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disappeared. He fears that if the authorities find out he’s living alone, they'll put him in an orphanage. When he meets the owner of the toy repair shop in the train station and his goddaughter, his life takes a dramatic and fateful turn.

The book is a combination of text interspersed with charcoal drawings that is similar to watching a silent movie at times; which is perfect because the story is partly a fictionalized account of a real life silent film maker, Georges Melies, famous for his special effects. Besides Selznick’s drawings, the book includes stills of Melies’ films and some great black and white photographs (especially the one of a train accident at Montparnasse Station). Martin Scorsese is making Hugo Cabret into a movie, which seems fitting--the story comes full circle.
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LibraryThing member amanda_c
Quality: This groundbreaking novel skilfully and beautifully integrates images and words to stretch traditional conceptions of the novel.

Potential Use: "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" could be read aloud, used as curriculum support for art classes, or read individually.

Appeal: "Hugo Cabret's"
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wonderful mixture of words and pictures will appeal to children who may be too young to read on their own, and to older children interested in magic, mechanics, art, and cinema.
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LibraryThing member vanedow
Description (from the book cover): ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the
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train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together in the Invention of Hugo Cabret.

My thoughts: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true, you would need 284,000 words to make the equal of this amazing book. I've never read anything like it, actually. It's a novel, but it's also a little like a graphic novel and a bit like a movie. This is a quick read with all the pictures, and I whipped through it in a couple hours, with lots of time spent poring over the drawings. I wish I could draw, but if you scroll down below you'll see why a book of drawings by me would never be a big seller.
For me, the story really took second place to the drawings, but it's still a cute tale. I think I'll be reading it to my daughter when she's a little older, though she is already entranced with the pictures.

My final word: 4 out of 5. You have to see this book.
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LibraryThing member ashleymcquirk
This is the story of a young boy named Hugo Cabret living in Paris and fixing clocks. Hugo believes his life's purpose is to fix the automaton that he and his father began to work on together. In pursuit of his purpose Hugo embarks on an adventure, both in his mind and in real life. He encounters
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trouble, film, toys and many mean adults. Including a toy shop owner who proves to be more than Hugo originally percieves.

One teaching point that this book offers is a look into the history of film that is certainly provoked throughout the text and especially given the conclusion. I admit that I do not know much about the beginnings of film and a study of this book would certainly be most effective with a look into the history of film and cinema. Another teaching point might be to examine how pictures can tell a story just as effectively as words. Since it is an illustrated novel and the pictures serve to add to the plot it would be interesting and important to have students discuss their reactions to the pictures in the novel.

This book was an easy and interesting read. I absolutely loved the pictures and how they told the story just as much as the words on the page. I have not read an illustrated novel before and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. I am all about some historical fiction as well because it has just enough of a base in reality that it provides an enriching learning experience for me and can provide one for students as well.
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LibraryThing member Ani_Na
There are a few books I read as a child that I latched on to with all of that age's powerful love and devotion and inspiration. This book I read as an adult, and yet it inspired in me that same wonder and clarity and beauty. The book itself is bound masterfully, black pages allowing for a full
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appreciation of the pictures, illustrations, and narrative that Selznick artfully combines in a captivating mystery. The book talks out about loss, gift, friendship, ability, film, and robots, in a tone appropriate for a good reader of any age. I couldn't put the book down on my first read-through, bound by a spell to gasp at his illustrations and plot-twists. I've since returned to it frequently, and recommended it to several children and young adults. I plan to read it to my own son, when he's old enough. It's a gorgeous and delightful tale.
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LibraryThing member megan_henley
Hugo Cabret is a 12 year old boy living in a clock tower. His father died and left him to live with his uncle who one day disappeared. Hugo was left to keep the clocks running, so the station inspector would not become suspicious and he would not be sent away to an orphanage. He gets caught
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stealing from Papa Georges toy stand and is forced to work for him and fix toys in order to pay off his debt. We later find out the reason for his stealing of toys is to complete the building of what is called an automan. Hugo's father had been fascinated with it and Hugo wanted to fix it in order to be able to discover the hidden message the automan held. What the automan revealed was very unexpected and helped change Hugo, along with any others, lives forever.

The majority of this book is told through pictures. Younger teens enjoy looking at pictures more than sitting down and reading a 400 page novel. The pictures give a better visual of Hugo and his adventures. This book could be a good encouragement for students to tell a story with pictures if they are not necessarily interested in writing. It also is a good example of determination and how if one wants something bad enough it can be achieved.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret was a great book. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. He goes from a lonely boy, living in a clock tower, stealing to get by to a cared about "magician" with a new family. He helped to uncover a lost secret and never gave up his hope on completing the automan. I loved how the pictures were all in black and white sketches. This is a book a would recommended to anyone, especially if they are interested in pictures.
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LibraryThing member ASanner
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the story of an orphan boy named Hugo, who takes care of all the clocks in Paris. He has become a thief throughout his days of being an orphan. He steals a toy from the old man at the toy booth and gets caught and is made to work for the man. The man take's Hugo's
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notebook of drawings which includes drawings of the robotic man. He meets his granddaughter, Isabelle. Isabelle and Hugo become friends. Hugo's father had found and rebuilt the robotic man who needed just one key to turn him on so he could draw. It turns out Isabelle has the key on her necklace. They robotic man draws a picture of a moon with a rocket in it. It turns out that Isabelle's grandfather is a world famous director who had forgotten about movies.

At first this book seems really intimidating because of it's length. However the book is filled with gorgeous drawings. And it is has some very nonfiction truth about it. George Meliese was a world famous magician turned into a world famous movie maker who made one of the first movies ever.

I would have students research the "robotic man" and see if their really is such a thing. I would also show them George Meliese's movie.
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LibraryThing member rachelick
Hugo Cabret's invention, is, of course, not truly his invention but someone else's, which Hugo is repairing by stealing parts from a toymaker. This book, in essence an overlong picture book, is a touching story of age, youth, and the relentless progression of technology. Though its thickness may
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daunt young readers, those that venture to open it will discover it is thoroughly accessible. Selznick's pictures are dark but evocative and beautifully detailed. It is at least novel in form, if not earth-shattering in plot; worth a read.
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LibraryThing member jasonlf
A stunningly powerful and original work unlike anything I have ever read before. It alternates between straight printed text, like any conventional book and full double-page, wordless images. And it moves seamlessly between the two: a given chapter might begin with text but then continue the story
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with images (e.g., the text describes the character walking halfway across the station and then pictures show him walking across the other half). What makes this so effective is that it forces you to focus on both -- you can't rely on the images to illustrate the text or the text to expalain the images, both are seperate. And unlike a graphic novel where you can end up paying more attention to the words without fully appreciating the pictures, here all of the pictures cover the full two pages and demand your focus and attention.

This original medium is ideally suited to the setting and story, an orphan boy at the beginning of the 20th Century who lives in a hidden room in a Paris train station and tends the clocks. He is also busily trying to repair and automaton his dead father retrieved from the wreckage of a museum. His run in with the owner of a mechanical toy store begins a series of adventures and revelations about imagination, creativity and the birth of the cinema.

At 550 pages, it is praising the book to say that the it feels epic in scope but that it actually covers a small space, time and limited number of characters and incidents. But these are expanded out with minute the minute and careful attention, especially through the many pages of the book that are drawing.
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LibraryThing member KarriesKorner
To say I read "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" does not accurately describe my experience with this book. From the opening black pages showing progressively bigger and bigger drawings it felt like I was in a movie theater watching a film. As the drawings become full-page and more intricately drawn, I
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felt as if I was in a picture book. What is remarkable about the beginning of this book is that without a word, the reader is immediately placed inside the story. There is no mistaking where the reader is when looking at the drawing of Hugo Cabret looking out from behind the number 5 on the train station clock.

The story is quite simple, but the combination of detailed line drawings and the limited text come together to tell a story of one boy's life surrounded by intrigue and mystery. It is an experience that leaves the reader with a feeling of having read/watched a black and white book. Between the illustrations and the text, there are some tense moments for young Hugo and the girl he befriends, Isabelle. Hugo is living an secret life as he tries to steal toys from a shopkeeper – Isabelle’s Godfather -- so he can repair a mechanical man his father left him. Life becomes complicated for him when the shopkeeper, in retaliation, steals a notebook that once belonged to Hugo’s father containing the notes he made about the mechanical man. Isabelle tries to act an intermediary, but to no avail. As Isabelle and Hugo negotiate the terms of their friendship and also investigate the mysteries of the mechanical man, Hugo is desperately trying to stay under the radar of the authorities who would be interested to know that he lived alone in the train station. As the story unfolds Isabelle discovers that not only is Hugo living a secret life, but so are her Godparents.

There’s a little bit of everything in this remarkable book. The drawings comprise over half the book, and tell the story so brilliantly that switching from text to illustration is effortless. Interspersed in the book are actual photographs that depict real life events, which brings an interesting perspective to the story, especially when it is revealed that the shopkeeper is, in fact, a real person who lived and died a long time ago. The blend between fact and fiction, and text and illustrations creates a well-rounded story that will keep the most reluctant readers engaged.
If you picked this book apart and made it either a picture book or a traditional chapter book, I doubt very much it would gain anyone’s attention, including the Newbery panel that awarded it’s highest honor to The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The book is a masterpiece because of the combination between the illustrations and text. When it is revealed that the shopkeeper is a filmmaker, George Melies, and his real-life movie clips are introduced into the book, I found myself revisiting a college class I took about the history of film. The film from that era (pre-talking) is weird and surrealistic but creative and quite innovative. The parallels between the films this man made and the drawings of Hugo Cabret’s life are very interesting. Both show incredible creativity and a desire to break from the common. In fact, some of the clips of Melies’ films show just how bizarre his talent was.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and the only aspect of it I didn’t care for were the real-life photos of Melies’ films. They were just too trippy for me. I’m sure students on the other hand, will find the story and all the drawings engaging and interesting, especially since most children's imaginations aren't poisoned by life's realities. They'll accept fairy-bugs and fish being in the same photograph without question. Melies was ahead of his time combining pictures to create this type of photo. Photographers have been manipulating photographs to create something different ever since photograph was invented; and it still goes today with software called Photoshop, which can create a picture of a dog with a monkey head in one click. After reading this book I read an interview with Brian Selznick and watched an interpreted film clip of Melies "Trip to the Moon" film, and these two things gave me a complete experience with this book. Amazing.
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LibraryThing member erinbreland
Twelve year old Hugo Cabret is an intriguing young boy with a wonderful imagination. Hugo lives about the train station with his Uncle who is mysteriously gone missing and takes over his job as the timekeeper and cleans all of the clocks in the train station. Hugo discovers an odd machine with his
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father when he was alive and is trying to make the machine work again. The machine was made by the owner of the toy booth and who ironically hates Hugo because Hugo steals from him to try and fix the odd machine which is an automaton. Thhroughout the whole book hugo is faced with adversity to try and fix this machine which he is completely infatuated with and the ending has a surpising twist that I never saw coming. The book is filled with magicians, film makers, and imagination that will consume you.
Hugo Cabret is what my teacher calls an illustrative novel. I was not so fond of all of the pictures at first because i love to read and feel the book through the words, but the pictures in the book are wonderful and really do make the story more interesting. The drawing in the book are esquisite and really captured my interest. This book would be a good book in teaching children, especially those that like picture books, that reading is not just all words and that pictures can tell a story just as well as words can. This book would be a great book to read in the classroom because it is so interesting and i feel like even for non readers this book will make them want to read more and read books like this one. The book also introduced me to the automaton which is something that I have never heard of and I am sure a lot of kids have not. I think that teachers can use this book to teach kids about the automaton and how it was developed and also broaden their imagination to this and also the way that movies were made in the 1930's. This book can be used to teach culture to children and make them want to learn more.
I loved this book especially the pictures in it and the way that they told the story. The drawings were amazing too and drawn with so much detail. I have and would recommend this book to everyone i come in contact with because it is filled with so much imagination, irony, contreversy, and culture. I really truly love this book and will be using it in my own classroom one day.
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LibraryThing member kate.damgaard
The Invention of Hugo Cabret was an interesting historical fiction read. Together with the story line and illustrations the book was quit unique. I enjoyed reading this story from start to finish. I never new where the story was going to go. A strength of this book was the plot. The author did a
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lot of research on this topic and it felt very realistic. I also loved the pictures. A weakness was character development. The characters seemed flat and dull compared to the action of the story.
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LibraryThing member cpeacock
I gave this book four stars because I felt it was a strong book that was fun to read. I finished it in on sitting. One of its strengths was the pace; it was action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked that it was a mixed media book - it had prose sections as well as wordless graphic
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novel sections- This kept the story moving along as well. This book also had great descriptive writing, which really helped me visualize the story and put myself in the train station. The weakness of this book is characterization. The writing focuses more on the plot than developing characters. I didn't feel particularly invested in the main characters. Also, the main character is rescued by an adult in the end. I don't think this would appeal to all Young Adult readers.
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LibraryThing member Yasith
A well written book by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic this book is full of mystery, so if you like mysteries read this. It is about a 12-year-old boy called Hugo Cabret whose father died in a fire in the museum where he worked and had found an automaton. After the fire went out, Hugo
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lived with his uncle in a train station where he was trying to live by stealing food. His uncle went missing, but he continued to work on his uncle's clocks so no one would know. Meanwhile, he was fixing the automaton which he recovered from the broken pieces of the museum’s fire.

The main characters are Isabelle, Hugo, Georges Méliès, a station inspector. Hugo had to work hard to get his notebook back from papa Georges. Then after all papa Georges save Hugo from the station inspector.

My favourite part is when Isabelle and Hugo watch the automaton write and draw.

I think this book was written a bit like a flip book because you feel a bit like you are watching a movie when you turn over all of the lovely pictures. It's not just an ordinary flip book because it has zoom and movement, not just movement.

The pictures helped a lot because there wasn’t much writing but the pictures tell the whole story really well so we can understand.

I really enjoyed the book because of the pictures and the characters. The bit that made me laugh is some of the pictures. Yes actually it does feels like you are looking through the main characters eyes. I think this book is a remarkable book for all children.
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LibraryThing member MickyFine
Hugo Cabret is an orphan living in a train station in Paris where he maintains all the clocks. But when he is caught stealing by the ornery old man who runs a small toy booth in the station, Hugo with his new acquaintance, Isabelle, will discover secrets that will reveal truths about his father,
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his past, and have fantastic repercussions for his future.

Selznick's novel is a beautiful melding of illustrations with text in this tale that explores the power of imagination, dreams, and the magic of early films. The drawings are richly detailed and make the 1930s Paris come to life, while also evoking many of the conventions of storytelling on film. While neither the characters nor the plot is extremely complex, it is sweet and style keeps the pages turning swiftly. A delight for children and adults alike, Hugo's adventures in Paris are definitely worth a read.
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LibraryThing member StefanY
This is a wonderfully crafted book full of beautiful illustrations, a unique story-telling style and a magical and truly moving plot. Don't be put off by the size of it (it is immense by young adult book standards) as you will fly through this page-turner at break-neck speed.

I'm not going to ruin
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the book for anyone by elaborating on the plot-line. I just heartily recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret to all, young and old alike.
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LibraryThing member iShanella
I’m a Brian Selznick fan. After reading Wonderstruck, I had to read the Invention of Hugo Cabret. Only Brian Selznick can write about automaton, an orphan boy, a retired movie maker and a train station in Paris and create a wonderful story.
Through images and words, the story of Hugo is really
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the story of Georges Méliès, a filmmaker and how he is found by a little orphaned boy, living in the train station in Paris and the automaton that brings them together. Well researched and stitched together, this book has a bit of something for everyone.
Read this book with your child and then watch the wonderful movie adaptation.
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National Book Award (Finalist — Young People's Literature — 2007)
Caldecott Medal (Medal Winner — 2008)
Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2009)
Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award (First runner-up — 2009)
Audie Award (Finalist — Audiobook of the Year — 2008)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2008)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2008)
Mark Twain Readers Award (Nominee — 2010)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 2009, 2010, 2011)
Indies Choice Book Award (Winner — Children's Literature — 2008)
Garden State Teen Book Award (Winner — Grades 6-8 — 2010)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2009)
Quill Award (Winner — 2007)
Iowa Children's Choice Award (Nominee — 2010)
Mitten Award (Honor — 2007)
Kids' Book Choice Awards (Finalist — 2008)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2009)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — Juvenile Books — 2009)
Sakura Medal (Chapter Books — 2008)
Julia Ward Howe Book Award (Winner — 2008)
Best Fiction for Young Adults (Selection — 2008)
Children's Favorites Awards (Selection — 2008)
Great Reads from Great Places (New Jersey — 2008)


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Original publication date


Physical description

533 p.; 5.75 inches


1407103482 / 9781407103488




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