Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

http://www.nassaulibrary.org/YABookLog/THE%20INVENTION%20OF%20HUGO%20CABRET%20Jacket%20Cover.jpg http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/images/brian_bio_photo.jpg

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
A Novel in Words and Pictures
by Brian Selznick
533 pages
YA Fiction
Published March 2007
Scholastic Press



Set in France in 1931, this is a story told in pictures and words giving a complete portrayal of Hugo Cabret. Hugo is a boy who lives at the train station, loves machines and robots and is a thief. I am fearful to share more because as it is a mystery I'd hate to taint even a second of your experience with this book. I enjoyed discovering every little piece of information as it came. I hate ruining surprises, but: it should be no surprise that this book is wonderful both in imagery and word! What I can tell you is that if you are at all on the fence about this book, not knowing if it is really something you would like to read, go to the bookstore and open it up. You will not even realise that you are slinking down to the floor to read page after page and dream along with the author in the world of Hugo Cabret and his invention. Then with the close of the book, the words written THE END across the back, you will come to, understanding but not believing that it wasn't actually real, that you didn't actually dream it up. It is that good- that entrancing.

I didn't have any idea what this book was about, the cover didn't particularly call my name, since it looked boyish. Oh, but thanks to Alyce (who is in my real-life book club) who walked me over to it and opened it. I think I heard music playing then, and since that moment I knew I would have to read it. I knew it!

It reads like a silent film, and many pages are a full spread of a face, a hand, or a machine. The art is so fantastic and beautiful. Brian Selznick really broke the mold with The Invention of Hugo Cabret, as it isn't a graphic novel, but the story is narrated just as much in pictures as it is in words. The style of the charcoal and pencil drawings is elaborate and very high quality, not leaving any detail out. I love to draw and that is another reason I couldn't stop looking at this book (still can't)! The little gizmos and gadgets come to life for sure, but more than the story of an invention it is the story of a family separated through time but united in memory and in likeness, it is a mystery that brings up almost too much pain for the past to carry and yet it is so gentle in its touch that it feels almost light.

I loved it, loved it! You have to try it too. It wins my Stellar Five Chicken Book Award (That means it is even better than a smashing five star hit- because chickens are better than stars!!!)

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret book trailer:



Did you read it? What did you think of the art? Didn't the story just captivate you!?! It did me, and that was after I had already been reading for 12 hours straight for the read-a-thon!


18 comments:

Chris said...

I want to read this one so badly! It looks fantastic. I'll get it soon...And I didn't know that you knew Alyce! That's really cool!

Suey said...

Yes, I LOVED it and the pictures are amazing!

Trish said...

I really need to read this one! How fun that you and Alyce are in a real life book club. Now I'm the one who's jealous! Although Laura is in mine. :)

tuulenhaiven said...

I just noticed this book at my library and was intrigued. Now I definitelly want to read it. Thanks for sharing!

bermudaonion said...

This is going on my wish list. I watched the trailer and the drawings are fantastic! It must be nice to have so much talent.

Ramya said...

I must be honest here.. When I saw this book on your lists and in your vlog, I didn't think I'd like it. As you said, I think the cover makes it seem like it is a boys book.. but your review and the stellar five chicken book award have really made me reconsider it!!

Janssen said...

This book is so beautiful. I loved every page.

joanna said...

I can't wait to read this. Even more so after your review! Are chickens really better than stars? ;-)

Alyce said...

Yay! I'm so glad you liked it (not that I really doubted you would). Great review!

Obsessed Reader said...

I think saying it is like a silent movie is the PERFECT way to describe this book...it is wonderful!! Everything about it is great...the story, the art. I am glad you enjoyed it, too!

Dar said...

I've wondered about this book before but always thought that it didn't seem like it would be for me. What I'm going to do is take your advice and open it up the next time I'm at the bookstore. Your description of it sounds just wonderful!

Janel said...

My daughter got this from the library and adored it. Now I want to buy it so that my son and I can also read it. It's something I want to keep around so we can all go back to it.

Kailana said...

I love this book! I read it back when it first came out entirely on a whim and I am so glad that I did!

Ali said...

You're so right about the cover, it totally turned me off. The title didn't do much for me either. Your review, on the other hand, and the book trailer? I must read it.

Is it kid-friendly?

Belle said...

I had this from the library but had to return it before I could get to it :( I think I need to just buy my own copy, because I'm just buried right now under a ton of library books!

Joanne said...

This looks so great, I've never even considered picking this up before but now I will definitly check it out. What a terrific book trailer too!

NotNessie said...

I've seen this at my library and I've been wondering... I'll check it out soon. Thanks for the review!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I had seen this at a friend's house (her 11 yr old son was reading it), but yours is the first "grown up girl" review I've read.

I was captivated when I saw HUGO CABRET at my friend's house, and thought my son might like it ... now I think I need to get it for both of us to read!

Five chickens, that's quite an endorsement!