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The Invention of Hugo Cabret Book Review

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on May 08, 2009
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews The Invention of Hugo Cabret, an inspiring novel about an orphan boy and an early filmmaker who was the first to bring magic to the big screen. This book inspired the film Hugo!

Author: Brian Selznick

After his father perished in a fire, Hugo Cabret’s uncle took him in. They lived in the walls of a Paris train station, where his uncle kept the clocks running on time. But when his uncle mysteriously disappears, Hugo is left alone. He’s forced to steal food from the station’s vendors and continue his uncle’s job maintaining the clockwork. If the Station Inspector were to discover his presence, he’d be sent to an orphanage.

The Automaton

Before his father died, he found in the museum’s attic an old, broken automaton—a windup figure made of clockwork. The figure depicted a man sitting at a writing desk, pen in hand. Hugo was determined to fix it. But when he’s caught stealing from the toy booth, the grumpy old vendor forces him to empty his pockets. The old man snatches Hugo’s notebook containing his father’s instructions on how to fix the automaton, and refuses to give it back.

A Magical Past

Hugo is heartbroken. But a young girl who claims to be the vendor’s goddaughter offers to help him retrieve the notebook. Unfortunately, finding it is easier said than done. In the mean time, Hugo realizes he doesn’t need the notebook after all. He uses his natural talent to rebuild the automaton. And when the windup figure begins to move, it draws a picture that reveals the truth about the toy vendor’s magical and haunting past.

The Bottom Line

It’s rare to find a book that leaves you speechless, but this is one of them! The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a heartwarming adventure and a true classic. The book tells a fictionalized story of an early French filmmaker named Georges Méliès, who was also called a Cinemagician for his innovative use of special effects in film. This novel is unique in that most of the 533 pages are purely illustrations. And many of the pictures depict scenes from Georges Méliès’s films, including A Trip to the Moon in which a capsule filled with astronomers fires from a cannon and lands in the Man in the Moon’s eye. It's no surprise that this amazing book is becoming a movie, which will simply be called "Hugo."

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Rating: 5

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