The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written and Illustrated by Brian Selznick
Scholastic Press, 2007
From inside the cover: “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 – like the gears of the clocks he keeps – with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the 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 from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender and spellbinding mystery.”
This is really a beautiful book – not only in words but in pictures. It’s not a graphic novel, it’s a novel told with words and pictures. The story itself is mysterious, spellbinding, heart-rending, and, ultimately, joyous. But the hand drawn pictures are something else entirely. Drawn in pencil, the images are incredibly lifelike and I found myself just staring at them for long minutes at a time, fascinated by the beauty of pencil lines. The emotions of Hugo and Isabelle are so realistically drawn, I was easily drawn into their world. There are a few tense moments and worrisome events, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Hugo does have to steal from other shops in the train station – but he does it only too keep from starving and to make his dream come true. In the end, all is resolved and made right. PLUS – there is no dreaded time jump without a warning! At the end of the story, the author has thoughtfully included a two-page spread announcement reading “Six-months later” so the reader can make the adjustment in his/her head. (If you have read our reviews before you will know how much we HATE abrupt time-jumps at the conclusion of a novel!)
I read this book after reading another blogger’s review (go HERE to read it).
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge.
Topic: Read a Book That Became a Movie
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