The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick


I saw the film of Hugo, before I discovered that it was based on a book, so I broke my cardinal rule, don’t judge a book by it’s movie. Thankfully, I loved the film or else I may not have discovered this book which would have been an outrage.

This book is a story of pictures and words, blending the two into a visual, and captivating, fusion. Unlike some books, which use the illustrations to break up the monotony of words, The Invention of Hugo Cabret uses the pictures to tell the story. The first 45 pages being images to set the scene in a Parisian train station at night, as well as introduce two of the main characters, Hugo Cabret and Papa Georges Méliès.

Hugo Cabret

The story of a young orphan living in the walls, the old film-maker turned toy salesman, and his goddaughter (the reader),  who recover a hidden past and bring back to life the magic of Georges Méliès.


The style of the illustrations suited the book perfectly and, in my humble opinion, are in a perfect ratio for a story of pictures and words as opposed to a full picture book, or a book with a few images thrown in.


With a storyline that makes you see the wonder of the world and the magic that it contains, it is definitely a book for all. Though a thick book, the images mean that it is a quicker book to read than first imagined when judging the book before opening it. This took me a couple of hours to read, while at work, so it is possible to finish it within a day if you are focused on reading, or across several if you are planning on taking your time with the book and reading a little bit each night.


Overall, this is a book that I think anyone who is after a bit of magic in their life and long for a story of the brilliance of children, automatons and magicians. The fact that you have to never give up on things that you truly believe in and the things that are dear to your heart. An important lesson for all in my opinion.

5 out of 5 stars

Accelerated Reader Information

Level: 5.1

Points: 4.0

Interest Level: MY

Quiz Number: 220934

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