“Orphan, Clock Keeper, and Thief, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together…in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you.”
I've read only a handful of graphic novels and couldn't tell you the last time I picked up a children's book (my 'babies' are 16), but this review at Ready When You Are, C.B. convinced me to find a copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret right away. The book is aimed at 9 to 12 year olds, but I think it would actually appeal to a much wider audience. My teenage nephews would love this!
A couple quotes I especially liked:
"Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?" he asked Isabelle. "They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like the clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do." (page 374)
"Even if all the clocks in the station break down, thought Hugo, time won't stop. Not even if you really want it to." (page 378)
And a couple of the drawings:
The size of this 500+ page hardcover "children's" book initally shocked me, but that quickly passed as I lost myself behind the walls of that Paris train station. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is pure fun at any age!