Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review - The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

A few posts back, I wrote about my desire to read 50 books in 2012. I realize that it isn't quite 2012 yet, but I started my reading list a bit early. Here is a short review of the first book I read.

Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret tells the story of a young man named Hugo. Through a series of tragedies, Hugo finds himself alone without any adults to take care of him. In order to avoid suspicion, Hugo, who lives in the train station, spends much of his time making sure that the clocks at the station are functioning, a job that belonged to his drunken uncle. When he is not fixing the station's clocks, Hugo is busy stealing mechanical pieces to fix an automaton, a special mechanical man that had once belonged to his father. Hugo is convinced that if he is able to fix the automaton, it will have a special message for him from his father, a message that will save his life.

There is much more to the story, including a stolen key, some mysterious pictures, a mysterious old man who refuses to talk about his past, and a trip to a film library, but to give away too much will steal from the story. The text is beautifully written, but perhaps even more entertaining are the wonderful pictures that help the story to move along. Selznick has drawn some amazing pictures that help to push the story forward. These are not used to simply illustrate the story, but to tell the adventure as well.

This book is written for a younger audience, but it deals with a portion of history that many adults will be intrigued by as well. I hope that many will pick up the book and enjoy it as much as I did. It has also recently been made into a film, Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese.

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