Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I'll start with a confession -- I prefer to get my information by reading rather than interpreting pictures. I don't need a picture of an oven temperature dial set at 450 degrees on my frozen pizza box, because I can read and understand written instructions. That said, the second part of the confession is that I just read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, even though it was published in 2007 and won the Caldecott Medal in 2008. It wasn't until I saw that it was coming to the big screen at Thanksgiving time that I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I understand now.
Hugo lives in a Paris train station with his uncle, whose job is to keep all of the clocks in station running. But Hugo must stay hidden, or his uncle may lose his job, and with it the small room at the station that the two share. When is uncle doesn't return one day, Hugo takes over the clock maintenance and continues to collect his uncle's pay checks, though he doesn't know how to cash them. Without money, he takes to stealing from some of the food vendors at the station. And he occasionally filches a small toy from a toy store in the station as well. You see,he needs parts from the toy to fix a machine his father had been repairing at the museum where he worked before he died in the fire that destroyed the museum.
Author Brian Selznick has told Hugo's story in 526 pages, nearly 300 of which are black-and-white illustrations which move the story through its paces. Not a novel, not a picture book, not a graphic novel, Hugo Cabret is a one-of-a-kind creation of story-telling full of mystery, history, determination and loyalty, with an ending that will leave you in awe.
Find The Invention of Hugo Cabret in the juvenile fiction section under S.

AR Level 5.1
AR Points 4

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