The Invention of Hugo Cabret   1 comment

Attention graphic novel fans, art students, and anyone who appreciates amazing illustrations! Check out Brian Selznick’s award winning illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  It’s the first novel that has ever won the Caldecott Award, which honors illustrators of children’s picture books. But don’t be fooled. Similar to the reception of the Harry Potter series, this novel has garnered well deserved attention from adults as well as children. Within its pages is a whole new reading experience, as Neal Wyatt notes in her July 2007 Reader’s Shelf column, “Beyond the Funny Pages: Comics in Fiction.” It is “a hybrid of words and pictures (black-and-white drawings, movie stills, and archival photos) that jointly work to tell a story, each dependent upon the other for narrative flow.  It is an amazing and groundbreaking achievement.” The plot is just as compelling as the format of the book, following the mysterious adventures of an orphan living within the walls of a Paris train station. In an interview, Selznick shares the ‘story behind the story’ of The Invention of Hugo Cabret regarding the great French film director, George Méliès. Enjoy this unique book, then watch for the movie scheduled to be released in 2011!

Hugo Cabret

Written by Connie Bach

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Posted February 24, 2010 by emailhannah in Book reviews

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One response to “The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I think it is fantastic for several reasons.

    First, the story is gripping. Selznick tactfully maintains reader curiosity throughout the book, first by giving us questions about Hugo (Why is he alone? Why does he live in a train station? How does he survive? Why is he stealing toys? Why is he so passionate about the automaton? Will he successfully repair it?), and then once we are invested in Hugo as a character, by giving us questions about the other characters in the story (Isabelle, Papa Georges), and how the story will come out.

    Another great thing about the book is that it raises and addresses deep themes that are central to coming of age. For example, the book addresses head-on the theme of loss. All of the characters in the book are coping with loss. The story shows, in an age-appropriate way, both the genuine anguish that comes with loss, and also a way through loss in restorative relationships with others. The book also tackles the theme of life-purpose, a theme that will engage young readers beginning to wonder about their place in the world.

    Of course the book is extraordinarily creative, and I could go on about other aspects of it, but, all that to say, I think you are right on in endorsing this one!

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