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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
5,944None702 (4.31)1 / 475
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)

adventure (73) automaton (76) Caldecott (199) Caldecott Medal (72) children (85) children's (203) children's fiction (66) children's literature (100) clocks (187) fantasy (177) fiction (503) film (111) France (182) graphic novel (364) historical fiction (261) illustrated (120) juvenile (58) juvenile fiction (58) magic (77) movies (144) mystery (179) orphan (83) orphans (185) Paris (288) picture book (78) read (69) robots (65) to-read (90) YA (118) young adult (128)
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  1. 40
    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 (480)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (494)
Showing 1-5 of 480 (next | show all)
Oh my goodness! This book was too perfect! The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is beautiful. I don't even know, just read it. You won't regret it! ( )
  lilysreads | Mar 23, 2014 |
The style of this book, with its storytelling through illustration and sparse words, really capture the imagination on new ways to lay out books. ( )
  CallMeChristina | Mar 23, 2014 |
A young boy survives in a Paris train station by fixing clocks and stealing scraps, until he is caught by a mysterious old man and befriended by an adventurous girl. Together they solve the mystery of the man's story, and of the automaton left to him by his father. The book pays tribute to French cinema through continual references; and the layout of the book which is designed like scenes from a film. The format combines a picture book with a novel, which makes it incredibly unique and keeps its large size from becoming daunting for readers. The text is also large and easy to read, and the vocabulary is suitable for the reading level. The book also has a history lesson showing modern, digitally-minded children the story behind the invention of film and its connection to magic shows. It's an amazingly heartwarming and ingenious book. ( )
  Honanb | Mar 2, 2014 |
Paris, 1931. We meet a young boy by the name of Hugo Cabret as he flits around the Paris train station he calls his home, keeping the clocks running and trying not to get caught. We don't read this, but see it—detailed and textured illustrations take us into Hugo's world. We will soon hear Hugo's voice and internal thoughts, but the words only tell part of the story, alternating back and forth with the illustrations.

Hugo has a mission and many secrets. Where did his notebook with illustrations of a mechanical man come from? What does the mechanical man do? He believes it will tell him a truth, a secret from his past, that will save his life. With the help of a girl he sees around the station, he does his best to unravel this mystery.

In his Caldecott Award–winning book, Selznick highlights movies and the magic of cinema in his masterpiece, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. His illustrations give readers the sense of watching an old movie, intent on detail and perspective. We learn about the old movies that were pioneers in the industry, and how it was like when people were first exposed to moving pictures.

The story is just as enchanting as the illustrations. I found myself really getting emotionally involved, and feeling what Hugo was feeling. I got sad, furious, and happy at all different points. Though the writing was spare, it worked in the book's dual format.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot, but let me say this: You will want to know what happens to Hugo! There are so many mysteries and questions as we read through the first half, and by the end of the second they are all satisfied (for the most part).

I also loved how Hugo is so brilliant with machines, especially clockwork. Apparently, a lot of magicians used to be clockmakers. I didn't know this! Lots of interesting tidbits in here about those professions, as well as movies.

I would definitely recommend this to readers moving on from easy readers and onto novels. Though this tome is over 500 pages, it's a very quick read—after all, it's mostly pictures. I got through it in a couple of hours. I'd also recommend this to anyone who has an appreciation for art.

As a side note, when this won the Caldecott it caused quite a commotion. Many people were against it because it is technically a book for young adults, and they all felt like it was a betrayal to children and books for children. The Caldecott is mainly awarded to picture books, and this was an aberration that bothered many people. I think it fully deserved it, as it's quite obvious this took Selznick YEARS to complete. Plus, children old enough to read could probably get through this, younger ones with maybe the help of an adult. Either way, it's a great story with amazing illustrations. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
delightful and creative. reads like a movie as it should considering the storyline. Not really a graphic novel, but the illustration makes the book. Very cinematic. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 480 (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)
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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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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 SelznickDear 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 CabretThis 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

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The Boy of a Thousand Faces

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:31 -0400)

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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.

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