Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 14, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — sostrom @ 10:00 am

I just finished Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and like Looking for Alaska, it was wonderful.  I guess The Invention of Hugo Cabret would be considered a graphic novel.  But it encompasses so many genres that even the avant garde genre of graphic novel doesn’t seem sufficient.  This book combines beautifully detailed artwork, film stills and photographs with carefully laid out “traditional” text. 

The story is a mystery/adventure surrounding a young boy’s obsession with rebuilding a badly damaged automaton, which is basically a small, mechanical man.  This particular automaton is sitting at a desk holding a pen.  Hugo wants to repair it to find out what the automaton’s message is.  Check out this link to see one in action.  Pretty neat.

It was a pleasant respite from the weight of Thirteen Reasons Why, Endgame, Story of a Girl and others.  Has anyone else read this?  Kate, I was wondering if your students (middle school, right?) might like it. 






  1. Oh Sarah I’m so glad you read Hugo…I’ve been trying to sell it on my “table” for weeks. Very interesting I agree. I think middle school students would love it, yes. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — April 14, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  2. Sarah: I also read HUGO some time ago, and I liked it as well. It definitely seems much more than simply a graphic novel. The pictures were amazing. Absolutely beautiful. For those who haven’t read it, don’t let the width intimidate you. It really is a quick read.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — April 15, 2008 @ 9:33 pm

  3. I started reading this in class one night and fell in love on the spot. Of course, I couldnt finish it that night. Karen, does anyone have your copy right now? I’d love to borrow it.
    I remember the pictures more than the story, which says something. I’m wondering if this is significant. Can a book of pictures ever be more meaningful than a book of only words?
    I think it could be. Of course, it depends on the books that are being compared. Not to be cliche, but a picture can tell 1000 words. Right?


    Comment by allison — April 16, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

  4. This sounds like a good book. It also sounds like a book my students would enjoy. They I’ll have to read it!

    Comment by katefrazer — April 19, 2008 @ 10:17 am

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