The Invention of Hugo Cabret
By Brian Selznick
Published by Scholastic, 2008
533 pages (hardcover)
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. (from barnesandnoble.com)
This was such an interesting book! I was a little intimidated by its 500+ pages, but at least 1/3 of them were pictures which helped tell the story and draw readers in to Hugo’s life.
Stories with orphans and magic (ie. Harry Potter) are almost always interesting and Hugo was no different. All the characters came to life with such distinct personalities that even the cranky toy shop owner was endearing.
This story also chronicles the history of early film with enthusiasm and vivid descriptions/pictures. Film, and the magic that is brought to us with film, is on display in this book. Besides being beautifully written, the story is inspiring and gives hope that even in the most frustrating situations, we can succeed.