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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Invention of Hugo Cabret
Most people would assume that the winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal, awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children, would be a picture book for little children.
Well that is not the case this year!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a story for all ages - even adults.
In a book that's over 500 pages long, but can be read in one sitting, Brian Selznick tells Hugo's story alternately in pages of words and pages of wonderfully detailed pencil drawings.

Hugo is an orphan who lived with his uncle within the walls of a large train station. His uncle was responsible for keeping all of the station's clocks running ...until the day that he disappeared, leaving Hugo alone. Then Hugo, not wanting to be found and turned over to an orphan asylum, took over the job.
The only thing that Hugo has left from his father is a notebook full of drawings and a broken and rusting mechanical man. The man is sitting at a desk with his rusted hand poised to write.
After cleaning, oiling and winding all of the station's clocks each day, Hugo spends his time trying to fix the mechanical man with springs and wires and gears out of toys he steals from a nearby shop until he is caught by the toyshop owner. The old man takes Hugo's notebook and threatens to destroy it.

Will the Station Master discover that young Hugo is living alone in the station's walls? Will he be sent to an asylum?
Who is the old man? Why is he so upset about the notebook?
Will Hugo fix the mechanical man and will it actually write something?
This is a great tale of suspense and mystery, beautifully told in words and drawings.

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