Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick

Published in 2007. 534 pages.
2008 Caldecott Medal Winner.
2007 National Book Award Finalist.

I was blown away by this fabulous book, which was April's pick for my long-term book club and one of Holly's "list swap" books for me.

So unique! Gorgeous drawings that don't just illustrate the story but are in integral part of it. A touching story of two children. A tribute to early French filmmaker Georges Méliès. A statement of a profound life philosophy. All that in just one (albeit hefty) book!

"Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?" [Hugo] 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."

Isabelle picked up the mouse, wound it again, and set it down.

"Maybe it's the same with people," Hugo continued. "If you lose your purpose ... it's like you're broken."

At 5 Minutes for Books, Dawn said, "There is a magical feeling that the characters are actually moving around among these pages." At onemorechapter, 3m said, "Absolutely wonderful. I cannot recommend this highly enough."

The book's website is here. The Wikipedia entry about Georges Méliès is here. The IMDb entry about the forthcoming film version is here.



  1. An upcoming movie? wow.

    One of the best books I've read. I absolutely adored this book. Great review!

  2. Wow, Although I've heard of this book and seen some of my kiddos at school check this out, I have never taken the time to investigate this little (I mean hefty) treasure. Well, I will repent and do that soon.

    Thanks for a great review. I was enchanted by the passage you shared and the immediate insight I got from it. It sounds like a great one to share with some friends too.

    Thanks a million - and Happy Mother's Day!

  3. I enjoyed this book greatly!

  4. I loved this book too. And I'm very curious to see how the movie turns out.

  5. One of my all time favorite books. I was so surprised because I thought it was sort of hokey when I first flipped through it at the bookstore.

  6. We seem to like the same kinds of books. After seeing your post about The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, I read it. And it became my favorite book for May (so far).

    Here's my review: