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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian…

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Brian Selznick

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6,921585523 (4.3)1 / 511
Title:The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Authors:Brian Selznick
Info:Scholastic Press (2007), First Edition, Hardcover, 542 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, D
Tags:historical fiction, children's literature, Paris

Work details

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Author) (2007)

Recently added byprivate library, cherobula, GigisIrieReads, medden, tbaker13, MichaelCunningham, MrBronson

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English (568)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (583)
Showing 1-5 of 568 (next | show all)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a wonderful book. The book follows the life of Hugo Cabret as he attempts to repair an automaton while he stays in a French train station during the 1930's. From here more mysteries unfold as Hugo is confronted by a mysterious girl, and old toy shop owner, and a drawing of a scene from his deceased father's favorite film. The book is an exemplary piece of historic fiction as it blends text with illustrations to create an almost cinematic feel and the division of the book into two parts to build on the suspense. The book is composed of many still images that show a sequence of events that occur in the book. These illustrated sections contain no words, but just follows the characters actions. When viewed in sequence the images play out a scene from the book showing the reader the events of the story as they unfold rather then just telling the reader what is happening. This visual story telling is reminiscent of the story telling used in film as the audience understands the stories through the characters' actions and facial expressions rather than being explicitly told the events. The use of the visual story telling in the book propels the reader through the story as they examine and anticipate what the next image will do to further the plot. An example of the images telling the story comes from the very beginning of the book as we watch dawn break over Paris and the e scene shifts to the train station where inside the reader sees the little boy as he races through the train station to hid in the wall and stare at the toy booth through a clock on the wall. This scene entrances the reader a they wish to know more about this boy and why he is hiding in the wall with out the use of a single word. The way the scene grabs the reader and hooks them into the story provides a form of engagement that simple text can simply not achieve. Along with the blending of the illustrations with text to create a dynamic story the book also builds on the suspense it creates by splitting the book into two parts. the division of the book breaks up the story into two mysteries. The first mystery being what will the automaton write, and the second is how is Papa Georges involved with the automaton. the first part ends with the automaton drawing an image from the film a journey to the moon, but the automaton signs Papa Georges name at the bottom. This provides resolution of the first mystery but prompts the reader to ponder further about the connection between Georges and the automaton thus setting up an even larger mystery to be uncovered in the second half. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a wonderful book that provides cinematic action and suspense through its combination of illustration, text and the separation of the book into multiple parts that deal with the two mysteries that are in some way related to one another. ( )
  tbaker13 | Oct 20, 2016 |
A decent book, but it can be a little confusing at times and it is too high of a level for younger children to read. ( )
  MichaelCunningham | Oct 18, 2016 |
This is the type of story you can easily get lost in. I was actually disappointed it was so short. I do think I may have missed out on some of the visuals by listening to the audio, but the producers tried to make up for it with sound effects. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Sep 29, 2016 |
I have never read a chapter book like this before and I was pleasantly surprised at the integrations of pictures within the story. The start of the book demonstrates Brian Selznick's gift of drawing as the story begins with 45 pages of pictures, as a silent movie opening up before you. This requires inferencing, making predictions, wondering, so may higher level thinking skills that one would not expect from a picture book, especially at this sage of the book. The story was very interesting and kept me intrigued. I think many children would enjoy this story but would need an appreciation that reading the words is not the tricky part, it is knowing what the characters are doing, thinking and feeling as you look at the illustrations that blanket the pages. ( )
  Chafkins | Sep 28, 2016 |
Young Hugo, orphaned and alone, keeps the clocks running in a bustling Paris train station in order to keep up the appearance that he is not alone. Hugo helps himself to food and gears when the opportunity arises, but he is caught by a grumpy shopkeeper who takes one of his last connections to his father, a notebook with information about a mysterious contraption. In attempt to get back his notebook, Hugo begins on a journey that leads to a friendship with the grumpy shopkeeper's daughter, the discovery of message from his late father, and the revelation that the shopkeeper has some secrets of his own. ( )
  jmillerlits | Jul 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 568 (next | show all)
Readers will pore over not only the illustrations, but also the words, which are rarely wasted and often contain real wisdom.
The story is an engaging meditation on fantasy, inventiveness, and a thrilling mystery in its own right. No knowledge of early cinema is necessary to enjoy it, but for those who do know just a little, the rewards are even greater.
The carefully selected details make Hugo Cabret feel like, well, a machine, full of tiny interlocking parts, built to fuel a curious child’s lifelong infatuation with wonder.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is full of magic ... for the child reader, for the adult reader, the film lover, the art lover, for anyone willing to give it a go. If you’re scared of the size or the concept, don’t be. Open your mind, pour Selznick’s creation in, and be reminded of the dream of childhood.
With The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the American illustrator/author Brian Selznick seems to have invented a new kind of book. It's at once a picture book, a graphic novel, a rattling good yarn and an engaging celebration of the early days of the cinema. All in black and white.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Selznick, BrianAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Selznick, BrianIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Paracchini, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Gert vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Hugo (2011IMDb)
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For Remy Charlip and for David Serlin
First words
From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything.
Hugo felt sure that the note was going to answer all of his questions and tell him what to do now that he was alone. The note was going to save his life.
The coffee was hot, and as Hugo let it cool, he looked around the cavernous station at all the people rushing by with a thousand different places to go. When he saw them from above he always thought the travelers looked like cogs in an intricate, swirling machine. But up close, amid the bustle and the stampede, everything just seemed noisy and disconnected.
Hugo though about his father’s description of the automaton. “Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?” he asked Isabelle. “They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.”
“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other automaton in the world can do. It can tell you the incredible story of Georges Méliès, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439813786, Hardcover)

Book Description:
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 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.

Amazon.com Exclusive

A Letter from Brian Selznick

Dear readers,

When I was a kid, two of my favorite books were by an amazing man named Remy Charlip. Fortunately and Thirteen fascinated me in part because, in both books, the very act of turning the pages plays a pivotal role in telling the story. Each turn reveals something new in a way that builds on the image on the previous page. Now that I’m an illustrator myself, I’ve often thought about this dramatic storytelling device and all of its creative possibilities.

My new book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is a 550 page novel in words and pictures. But unlike most novels, the images in my new book don't just illustrate the story; they help tell it. I've used the lessons I learned from Remy Charlip and other masters of the picture book to create something that is not a exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.

I began thinking about this book ten years ago after seeing some of the magical films of Georges Méliès, the father of science-fiction movies. But it wasn’t until I read a book called Edison's Eve: The Quest for Mechanical Life by Gaby Woods that my story began to come into focus. I discovered that Méliès had a collection of mechanical, wind-up figures (called automata) that were donated to a museum, but which were later destroyed and thrown away. Instantly, I imagined a boy discovering these broken, rusty machines in the garbage, stealing one and attempting to fix it. At that moment, Hugo Cabret was born.

A few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Remy Charlip, and I'm proud to say that we've become friends. Last December he was asking me what I was working on, and as I was describing this book to him, I realized that Remy looks exactly like Georges Méliès. I excitedly asked him to pose as the character in my book, and fortunately, he said yes. So every time you see Méliès in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the person you are really looking at is my dear friend Remy Charlip, who continues to inspire everyone who has the great pleasure of knowing him or seeing his work.

Paris in the 1930's, a thief, a broken machine, a strange girl, a mean old man, and the secrets that tie them all together... Welcome to The Invention of Hugo Cabret.


Brian Selznick

Amazon.com Exclusive

Brian Selznick on a "Deleted Scene" from The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This is a finished drawing that I had to cut from The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was still rewriting the book when I had to begin the final art. There was originally a scene in the story where this character, Etienne, is working in a camera shop. On one of my research trips to Paris I spent an entire day visiting old camera shops and photographing cameras from the 1930's and earlier, as well as the facades of the shops themselves. I researched original French camera posters and made sure that the counter and the shelves were accurate to the time period. I did all the drawings in the book at 1/4 scale, so they were very small and I often had to use a magnifying glass to help me see what I was drawing. After I finished this drawing I continued to rewrite, and for various reasons I realized that I needed to move this scene from the camera shop to the French Film Academy, which meant that I had to cut this picture. I tried really hard to find ANOTHER moment when I could have Etienne in a camera shop, but, as painful as it was, I knew the picture had to go. I'm glad to see it up on the Amazon website because otherwise no one would have ever seen all those tiny cameras I researched and drew so carefully!

--Brian Selznick

More from Brian Selznick

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The Boy of a Thousand Faces

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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