The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I was hesitant to start this book for a few reasons. First, Mike told me I should read it, and I don’t like to read books that I “should” read. Which is fairly ridiculous, because I tell Mike to read books all the time (speaking of that, Mike, if you are reading this, WHY ARE YOU READING THIS? STOP READING THIS. Go read The Kite Runner so we can see the movie).

Also, as I have mentioned before, I am prejudiced against books with lots of pictures. I know. It’s awful. I just read so fast, people. I want there to actually be something to the book. And this one did go pretty fast, though the pictures are great and are very integral to the story.

Anyway. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a story told in pictures and text about a young boy who lost his parents and ended up living with his uncle in a Paris train station, taking care of the clocks. He has a knack for mechanics and spends a lot of time trying to repair a machine with notes left by his father, a machine he hopes can give him his father’s last final message. Repairing this machine leads him to interact with an old toymaker, who has secrets of his own.

Overall, I thought this book was very good. It’s long, but mostly pictures, so it is a very quick read. The story is relatively straightforward, which was a bit of a surprise – books that big usually have a few more twists and turns, and I hadn’t taken into account how much of the story would actually be told in pictures. The pictures are, as I said, great, and it would (like a graphic novel) be an excellent choice for reluctant readers. It’s for a slightly younger audience than you’d expect for the size, probably upper elementary. I am glad I read it, though I must confess that it’s not really my thing. I would definitely recommend it to kids, though, because it’s a great example of reading being fun and interesting.

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