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.
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.
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.
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.