‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ by Brian Selznick

A couple weeks ago my roommate lent me a book he was reading called The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. He prefaced it by telling me that it was kind of kids book with illustrations but it was a clever story and quite a quick read. I flipped through it and was immediately intrigued by it. You see, Hugo Cabret is like a picture book told like a movie. In fact, the first page is a detailed, close-up drawing of the moon, and the next 40 pages (all two page spreads) are drawings which lead you into the story.

The story is about a young boy named Hugo Cabret who lives in a train station, keeping all of the clocks running since his uncle mysteriously vanished three months ago. Since his uncle disappeared though he’s been obsessed with rebuilding a mechanical man, an automaton, which for some reason he has a hidden connection to. Add to that an old man who works at a shop in the train station and his curious goddaughter who have a mysterious connection to the automaton as well.

Overall I loved the book. I think it’s certainly meant for children but I enjoyed it without a doubt. The story takes some twists and turns I didn’t foresee and the illustrations are pretty well done. It’s definitely a quick read, I think I finished it in two nights. It’s also kind of interesting because Mr. Selznick ties in real history to the story, though a few things were invented to make the story more exciting. I’d definitely suggest checking this book out, especially if you have older kids around 8-10.


February 21, 2010