The Invention of Hugo Cabret Review

The Invention of Hugo Cabret ReviewThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2007
Genres: Europe, Family, Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Orphans & Foster Homes, Young Adult
Pages: 533

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.With more than three hundred pages of original drawings, and combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film, Brian Selznick breaks open the novel form to create an entirely new reading experience. Here is a stunning, cinematic tour de force from a boldly innovative storyteller, artist, and bookmaker.

A few months ago I watched the movie Hugo, and ever since I have been wanting to read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It is a children’s book that seems like it will take hours and hours to read. But even though it is a very chunky book it only took me a few hours to get through it. Some pages only have a couple of words whereas others are full of words like a regular novel. Then there were tons of pretty drawings throughout the book that told some of the story. I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels, but this book was so neat in the way that it combined the words and drawings.

Hugo Cabret I found I actually preferred the pages of drawings – they were so well done and detailed! I felt like I was being told a story instead of reading a story.

This book tells the story of 12 year old Hugo who is an orphan and a thief in the early 1900’s. Hugo’s father dies and so his alcoholic uncle somewhat cares for him who takes care of the clocks as a clock keeper in a Paris train station. His uncle teaches him how to be a clock keeper, and how to maintain the clocks instead of allowing him to go to school. However, his uncle is really never around for Hugo, so basically he has to become a thief to be able to survive. But I like how Hugo tries to take things in more of a moral way I guess you could say. For example, he steals his clothes out of the lost and found at the train station.

One day Hugo’s uncle does not come back to the train station, and so Hugo is completely on his own. To keep the train station’s security from getting involved, he gets his uncle’s checks and keeps the clocks all by himself. He meets this old man at a toy store that despises him because he only sees Hugo as a thief. But this old man changes Hugo’s life after Hugo brings back something in this old man’s life that has been hidden for ages. Really though they both change each other!

Both the movie Hugo and The Invention of Hugo Cabret is so cute with an actual story to tell. I think I love the book and movie equally. Usually I prefer one over the other, but I think this time it is equal. :grin:



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Samantha is a 31 year old reader, blogger, sucker for Netflix, and of course a Hogwarts Graduate (Gryffindor!). Her Siberian Husky completely owns he thinks. Follow Samantha on Goodreads.

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