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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Author: Brian Selznick
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, 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, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780439813785
ISBN-10: 0439813786
Publication Date: 1/30/2007
Pages: 544
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 120 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 76
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 329 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The Invention of Hugo Cabret was great! I loved how the story would switch back and forth from the written part to the artwork in order to tell the story. It was highly suspenseful and captivating, even for this 30 year old. Part historical mystery, part gothic, and part educational, it's destined to be a classic. I am definitely going to buy a copy for the keeper shelf.
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 115 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A beautifully illustrated novel, graphic novel in a whole new class!

The story of Hugo, Isabelle and Etiene, three young Parisians. Hugo is an orphan who cares for the clocks of the train station. Isabelle is the ward of a mysterious man who owns a toy shop. Etiene works in the movie theater near the train station and toy shop. Hugo finds a mysterious machine and begins a journey that brings their lives together.
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 147 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
When I discovered that this book was located in the children's section of a Barnes & Noble I once frequented, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical about it. But now, I'm very happy I have added it to my list of reads.

Though directed at children, Invention is an inspirational story that even adults can learn a few things from. Selznick tells the story, based in 1931, of the title character Hugo Cabret, a Parisian boy living on stolen foods and the love for an automaton his late father gave him. Since his drunkard uncle, the town's Timekeeper, disappeared, Cabret has been maintaining the town clocks stealthily under the nose of the train station inspector.

Cabret continues this pattern of everyday life until his thievery is discovered by a local mechanical toymaker named Georges Melies (a real person - look him up). One of Cabret's most prized possessions - the notebook his father gave him containing technical sketches of his automaton - is taken by Melies as punishment, setting off a series of events in which Melies rediscovers his past and Cabret & Melies' niece Isabelle contemplate their purpose.

Selznick tells this story through an alternating series of text and brilliant sketches, each combining to give the tale a youthful fluency not found in many books, including those intended for older audiences. The images provided by the black-and-white drawings and the exquisite bouts of speech are fantastic in the fullest sense of the word, and the whopping 525-page length will provide youngsters and the young-at-heart with hours of heartwarming moments and inspirational thoughts.

Or nightmares from the creepy-looking automaton. Either or.
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Absolutely amazing book. A mix of words and pictures. It is a very easy read but incredibly entertaining. Once you begin you will not want to set it down until you have devoured every last page.
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reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on
This is a wonderful book for young and old. The pictures are so intricate and are such a part of the story.
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 291 more book reviews
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the basis for the Martin Scorsese film "Hugo." I saw the movie first and then read this book. The book is simply amazing and is mostly pictures with a few pages of text interspersed. One might even call it experimental fiction. Whatever you call it, this book is awesome and was incredibly well-researched and is a Caldecott award winner. I was able to read this in less than an hour and a half, even though it has well over 500 pages, so don't be discouraged by the size of it. There are some small differences between "Hugo" the movie, and the book, but they are relatively trivial (although I like the ending in the movie better than the book's ending). Quite simply a very well thought out and written children's story that is fit for readers of all ages.
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret on + 2502 more book reviews
I already read Wonderstruck and after reading that really wanted to read the Invention of Hugo Cabret. So, when I got this book for my birthday I was thrilled! This was a wonderful read. Selznick does such a wonderful job writing a story in pictures; he has a knack for bringing multiple generations of characters together to tell a wonderful mystery.

Hugo lives in a train station. He used to live with his uncle who winded the clocks in the station, but when his uncle disappeared he was left winding clocks on his own and hoping that no one would notice his uncle's absence and throw him out. Hugo has a side project too; he trying to rebuild an automaton that he and his father found in the attic of a museum. In his search for parts for his automaton he ends up involved with a bookish young girl and a bitter old toy maker. Little does he know that the mystery behind the automaton may be wrapped up with the new people in his life.

This was another wonderful story by Selznick. I continue to be amazed at how well he can tell a story in pictures. The story is told half in pictures, half in words. The pictures are beautiful and match the tone of the story perfectly. As with Wonderstruck, this book portrays a sense of nostalgia (it is set in Paris in the 1930's). I love how Selznick makes the story cross multiple generations by having a young boy solve the mystery behind an older man's past.

Although this is more of a mystery driven novel than a character driven novel you can't help but love Hugo. Hugo is hard working and has wonderful dreams of finishing the automaton and presenting it to the rest of the world; the whole time you are really hoping that things will work out for him. The automaton he is working on is a wonderful mystery; you can't help but desperately wonder what the automaton is going to write when Hugo finishes fixing it. Then when he does fix it and it writes for him, what it writes creates a whole mystery all in itself.

The story is very engaging and hard to stop reading. I personally didn't know much about Georges Méliès and his movies; so it was wonderful to learn about this and makes me want to learn even more! What a wonderful thing to dedicate a book this creative and imaginative to a film-maker who first tried to bring fantasy to the big screen. As with Wonderstruck you can tell that Selznick did a ton of research when writing this book (he lists all of his references in the back). You can tell this book took a lot of time and dedication to write/draw and I enjoyed every second of it.

Overall this is just a wonderful book for all ages. Not only does the reader get help Hugo solve a magical mystery involving automatons, they get to learn more about Paris in the 1930's, and are introduced to the movies are Georges Melies. Readers young and old alike will find this to be a beautiful, intriguing, and creative read. It's a glimpse into the past with a bit of mystery thrown in. Highly recommended (as is Wonderstruck) to everyone. I can't wait to see what Selznick comes up with next.

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