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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
6,338532619 (4.31)1 / 494
Member:Heather39
Title:The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Authors:Brian Selznick
Info:Scholastic Press (2007), First Edition, Hardcover, 542 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:children's literature, historical fiction, clocks, Paris

Work details

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007)

  1. 50
    Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (Unoriginality)
    Unoriginality: It is the same author with many beautiful illustrations. Hugo is superior in my opinion, but Wonderstruck is still a very good read.
  2. 40
    The Arrival by Shaun Tan (teelgee)
  3. 20
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: If you like books with (meaningful) illustrations for older readers, you might like this one, too.
  4. 10
    You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum (Picture Puffin) by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Great illustrations tell the story as well as any words!
  5. 21
    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (FFortuna)
  6. 00
    A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (kaledrina)
  7. 00
    The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (MField)
  8. 00
    Mystery of the Silent Friends by Robin Gottlieb (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    The Second Mrs. Gioconda by E. L. Konigsburg (Runa)
  10. 00
    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (zjeszay)
  11. 00
    Silent Movie by Avi (raizel)
    raizel: The medium reflecting the message.
  12. 01
    The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (FFortuna)
  13. 01
    The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby (infiniteletters)
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English (516)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (530)
Showing 1-5 of 516 (next | show all)
All things considered I did not hate this book, I even enjoyed it but it fell somewhat flat for me. The highlight were the great pictures and my favorite part was the build up in mystery during the first half of the book but the build up for me did not amount to something great like I expected. There were still great moments in this books but things that i just plucked holes into that didn't quite fit with me. The book is a good one and if it gets children excited and more of them to read then by all means keep reading it and praising it for it does deserve the praise, but for me personally the story lacked and by the end I was unfortunately a bit disappointed. ( )
  alejandro.santana | Jul 2, 2015 |
I loved every page of this book. The art works to further the story and build deep plot details that just words could not convey. There is the perfect balance between pictures and words that makes this book feel like a pioneer of a new genre. Also, the book lets you feel what it is like to be Hugo. ( )
  alaina.loescher | May 8, 2015 |
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 | Apr 14, 2015 |
Personal Response- This book is a very large novel but it is filled with pictures that help tell the story as well. I really enjoyed that concept since a picture can tell a 1,000 words. It was easy to follow and Hugo is a great character with strong ambition and persistence. He will not give up on finding his notebook! I liked that often you saw the picture of the automaton and the text hadn't explained it yet.

Curricular Connections- One downside to using this novel is that the pictures can spoil what is going to happen! This book seems huge but to kids, the pictures make it much easier to read. Also the text doesn't take up the entire page. The book talks about using clocks and making mechanical devices so this could be used in correlation of Stephen Hawkins biography. How are these two characters alike? ( )
  amy.wesen | Apr 12, 2015 |
Stunning artwork that actually helps to drive the story line.
Hugo is an orphan who lives with his uncle in the railway station. His uncle is a clock-maker and Hugo learns this craft. After his Uncle's strange disappearance Hugo is left to fend for himself. He stays at the railway station and tends to the clocks. His life changes when he has an interaction with the local toy store owner, Papa George. It turns out that Hugo's life and Papa Georges have intertwined. The machine man that Hugo has, which is the last remembrance Hugo has of his father, was made by Papa George. Hugo goes on to discover with the help of Isabelle, Papa George's daughter, that Papa George is an old film maker. And the same film maker that Hugo's father raved about.
When Hugo brings this all to light it helps the old man to break out of his shell. He also in return helps Hugo and welcomes Hugo into his family.
A very well written book that has many amazing themes to offer. ( )
  chrisriggleman | Mar 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 516 (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, Brianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Selznick, BrianIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Paracchini, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Gert vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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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.

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


The Houdini Box


Walt Whitman: Words for America


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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