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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian…
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The Invention of Hugo Cabret (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Brian Selznick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,789578544 (4.3)1 / 510
Member:Heather39
Title:The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Authors:Brian Selznick
Info:Scholastic Press (2007), First Edition, Hardcover, 542 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, D
Rating:****
Tags:historical fiction, children's literature, Paris

Work details

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

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English (564)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (578)
Showing 1-5 of 564 (next | show all)
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 |
The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is quite thick - approximately 500 pages long. This alone would most likely make it suitable for children at the older end of the children's range, perhaps grades 5 and 6. Although the book is long, it is not a long read. The author illustrates the novel in a way that it includes full page pictures in pencil drawing. The illustrations themselves are riveting, both in their quality and creativity. However, the illustrations do not just add depth to the book - they are essential. The illustrations take the place of words and advance the story without any words. On any given page, the reader will find a full-page picture, just a few words, or a whole page full of words. However, it is impossible to predict what will be next. The story itself follows a child, Hugo Cabret, in Paris in the early 1900s. He steals toys from a toy maker for their parts, wandering the bowels of a train station for access and escape. He brings the parts of the toys to his father, who is trying to assemble the automaton. However, the run into road blocks along the way, including when the toy maker discovers Hugo and takes his journal full of sketches of the automaton. Overall, I found this book fascinating and think it would be a great read for any child ready for it.
  jstrecker | Jul 11, 2016 |
Way better than the movie. Awesome illustrations. ( )
  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
I'm sure for some it's a five star book. The story is good; the pictures are important in that the book is about movies, which are visual. They are not like graphic novel pictures, or traditional illustrations. They are dark however, so be sure, especially if you have imperfect vision, to have plenty of light. I'm sure other reviews say everything I could - let me only add that I'm glad it took the boy and girl a long time to trust each other and be friends, as usually children team up to have adventures unrealistically enthusiastically and easily. Overall, even though I didn't want to tackle it, I'm glad I did. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick 4 stars
Wouldn’t you know, the first time I read something that could be tagged a graphic novel, I listened to it first. So this review is in two parts, first the hard copy and then the audio.
Hugo Cabret is an orphan living in the walls of a Paris train station during the time between the world wars. The location and its historical setting alone would make this an unusual book for its target audience of early adolescence. (Hugo is 12 when the story starts). The writing is spare but descriptive. There is wonderful metaphor wound around the train station clocks, magic tricks and of course the automaton. The book jacket says there are 284 of original drawings. There are 284 pages of outstanding artwork. The pictures do not just illustrate the story; they tell the story.
So, how does it work without the pictures? Surprisingly well. I chose this audio because of the narrator, Jeff Woodman. He does an outstanding job of evoking the mystery and the magic of the book. The graphic elements of the book are handled with sound effects; running feet, echoes, train whistles, crowd noises clocks ticking. I think that anything in the pictures that could make a sound is represented in the audio. Appropriately, it was like listening to an old radio drama without the static. I was completely entertained.
This book reads more like fantasy than historical fiction, but it is loosely based on the life and work of George Melies.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 564 (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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Series (with order)
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Original title
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People/Characters
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Important events
Related movies
Hugo (2011IMDb)
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Remy Charlip and for David Serlin
First words
From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything.
Quotations
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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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

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.

Yours,

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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