Bulldog Library

Invention of Hugo Cabret

on April 21, 2013

JF Selznick    •    AR Reading Level: 5.1    •    AR Points: 4.0    •    Quiz #113692


Hugo Cabret comes from a long line of horologists.  His father repaired clocks.  His uncle maintained clocks.  Hugo himself, though still young, is an expert in clock repair.  He can repair any mechanical mechanism his father gives him.

When his father finds an automaton, a clockwork man, in disrepair hidden away in a museum’s attic, Hugo is thrilled.  He dearly wishes his father would repair the automaton.  His father is as eager as Hugo to see the machine man restored and begins studying the figures complex clockwork.  Sadly, Hugo’s father will never see the figure restored.  Can Hugo fix the automaton without his father’s guidance?

The award winning illustrations used throughout The Invention of Hugo Cabret do not merely illustrate the story.  They further the plot of the book.  They are used in combination with the text to tell the story.  Unlike a true graphic novel that combines words and text on the same page, The Invention of Hugo Cabret contrasts scenes presented wholly through image and scenes presented wholly through text.  It is an interesting and unusual way to present a story, like a silent movie in print.

Brian Selznick’s black and white illustrations are masterfully rendered, beautiful works of art.  They convey mood, set the scene, and advance the story brilliantly.

Genre: Historical Fiction  •  Interest Level: grades 4-8

2008 Caldecott Medal Winner

Selznick, B. (2007). Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.


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