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July 20, 2015

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hugo CabretThe Invention of Hugo Cabret

By: Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick masterfully illustrated and wrote this interesting story that reads like a cross between a traditional children’s novel and a graphic fiction novel.  In this story, Hugo, a 12 year old orphan, is taken in by his uncle and learns how to manage the clocks at a busy Paris train station in the early 1930’s.  Hugo bravely and inventively manages to continue to keep the clocks working in secret after his uncle drinks too much and fails to return one night.  Hugo, feeling desperate, steals gadgets and toys from a mysterious “old man” who runs a toy shop in the train station.  Hugo uses these to try to fix an automaton that he believes may hold a secret message from his father who had worked on it before he died.  His efforts are greatly hindered when the “old man” confiscates Hugo’s notebook with illustrations of automatons (drawn by Hugo’s father) after catching Hugo in the act of stealing from him.  The old man tells Hugo that he may be able to earn his beloved notebook back by working hard for him in the toy shop.  Meanwhile, Hugo befriends the old man’s bookish goddaughter at the toy shop and together they begin to unravel mysteries that connect their lives in intriguing ways.  Will Hugo be able to discover who these strange characters really are and what message his father may have left for him before his secret life is discovered?  Read this beautifully illustrated story to find out!

Review By: Christina Fitch