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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
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Manufacturer: Scholastic Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Hardcover
EAN: 9780439813785
ISBN: 0439813786
Label: Scholastic Press
Manufacturer: Scholastic Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 544
Publication Date: 2007-01-30
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Studio: Scholastic Press

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Editorial Reviews:

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.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Beautiful Storytelling
Comment: "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" takes place in Paris, in the early 20th century. It tells the tale of an orphan named Hugo who secretely lives in a train station and fixes the clocks, unbeknownst to the stationmaster. Hugo is not just an ordinary boy however. In addition to his deftness with clocks, he also has a gift with all mechanical objects and spends much of his time stealing odds and ends from the toymaker's booth in order to fix up his personal pieces of clockwork. One such piece is a large mechanical man left to him by his father that has the capability of relating a mysterious message to him. Hugo is convinced that the message will be from his father beyond the grave and so he is obssessed with fixing the mechanical man any way that he can.
What makes this tale unique and proves Selznick's mastery at storytelling is the way in which he chooses to tell it. At first glance, the book is thick and daunting, especially to a child who is fearful of too many words on a page. This story however, is told half through words and half through pictures. Selznick's lively and touching drawings prove his talent as an artist and much of the story is gleaned through study of these pictures. While one could zip through the story in an hour, you wouldn't want to because so much can and should be absorbed through a careful study of his artwork.
I recommend this book highly to those who are interested in unique methods of storytelling as well as to those children who are simply not all that interested in books. While it might seem a cop out to give a child a book that is told largely through pictures I believe that it can be quite useful in helping children to feel confident in reading something that might at first glance appear too daunting to pick up. Studying such pictures can help to improve their attention to detail in a story as well as help them to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Ages 9 and up.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A good novel with great pictures.
Comment: This book is about a boy who lives in a station in Paris. He fixes clocks and works with machinery. He has to bear the weight of his drunk, absent uncle from whom Hugo took the responsibility of keeping the clocks of the station working. His father had found an automaton, which is a machine that can move and perform abilities, but all through the machinery of a clock. This particular automaton is of a man at a desk, posed as if to write something. This story is about the boy trying to find what the automaton of a man is writing when he is fixed.
I loved the illustrations in the book. What is interesting about this book is it is not written like a traditional graphic novel, but it has writing on a few pages, then the next few pages will be illustrations of the next part of the book. The author does not illustrate what he had explained in words, but what happens next. The pictures continue the story where the words leave off. The pictures tell their own part of the story. It is such a creative style of writing and illustrating. The author weaves such an interesting story, but it is his illustrations that make this novel so fascinating and compelling. The illustrations are drawn in a kid- friendly way, but they still contain depth and it looks to me that the author took a lot of time for just one of them. It only took about an hour or two to read, but it was exciting until the very end. The book has 550 pages, but 284 of the pages are pictures. The plot is a combination of mysteries and secrets that all want to be solved.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: my children loved this book
Comment: My daugher and son rarely love the same book - but this one they did.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Shared reading experience
Comment: A great story to read and share with a child. The format changes back and forth between words and then pages of images that tell the story. You can read to the child, then let the child "read" the pictures to you. A thick book, but it goes quickly.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Enchanting, Intricate, Tender, Spellbinding
Comment: Pretend that you are an orphan living in an abandoned apartment. You keep fixing the clocks in the railroad station to keep up your "duty", trying to stay out of jail and stealing food and metal toys. Also, you have a mechanical man that your deceased father was working so hard to fix so you thought it your job to finish it in his honor. Crazy, right? Not for Hugo Cabret as this was the everyday life for him in Paris. Hugo had gotten used to this daily ritual until the shopkeeper of the toy booth had caught him stealing a toy mouse. Hugo learns that the old man and his godchild, Isabelle, the mechanical man, and a picture all are pieces of a puzzle. Brian Selznick is the brilliant author of this book The Invention of Hugo Cabret an enchanting, intricate, tender, spellbinding mystery graphic-novel.

An unexplained picture drawn by a mechanical man makes the life of Hugo Cabret a complete jumble. He just wants to know what his father left him, and instead, gets into more and more unexpected adventures. But with the writing and drawing from Brian Selznick, everything comes to a good conclusion. Like Isabelle said, "You can make up your own story when you look at a photo." With half of the book being pictures about what was to happen next, we must take Isabelle's comment into consideration. This is a unique way of storytelling using illustration as much as writing to explain what happens. Brian Selznick has drawn for other authors. For example, Andrew Clements's Frindle and School Story were both illustrated by Selznick. Along with a great author and illustrator, the book was a National Book Award Finalist in November 2007. I recommend this book to whoever loves mysterious and moving stories, and great pictures.

Nellie C.
Grade 6
Ms. Kawatachi

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