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Showing 1-10 of 427 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 824 reviews
on September 2, 2015
Absolutely beautiful book. I think I will hang on to this one. I will probably read it several times. My daughter enjoyed it too. I know it's junior fiction, but that doesn't stop an adult from enjoying it. The drawings are amazing, page after page of drawings with no text (in parts of the book). I also really, really enjoyed the movie. :-)
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on October 18, 2016
Really cool book to start. At first, I was intimated by the pages, but the number of photos make a good portion of the entire books content. Great story time for my daughter and I. She's in the 3rd grade and the book is one of the selections in the competition. Entertaining read to help my daughter daydream.
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on March 24, 2012
I had seen these books in a Middle School library and they were so thick that I couldn't imagine the kids actually reading them but they were constantly being checked out. When I worked at the Book Fair at the school, I flipped through one. A great percentage of the pages do not have writing but tell the story with pictures which is quite ingenious. The pictures are wonderful and are drawn by the author. The books were about $25 at the Book Fair but I got it on Amazon quite a bit cheaper. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. My daughter read it to my 7 year old grandson and he loved it and was so excited when he watched the movie. She said, while they were reading the book, he would want to know how big the clock was and other questions. He was glued to the front of the TV watching the movie and knew a lot of stuff from the book. So if a 70 year old grandma, oodles of middle school kids and teachers, and a 7 year old loved it, it has to be good. It is the story of a small boy whose father is killed in an accident and he has to live with his drunken uncle who tends the clocks in a railway station and also lives there. It is kind of a cinderella story in that the boy doesn't have a bed and has to do the work for the uncle. There is no fairy godmother though. After the uncle disappears, the boys has to keep up the clocks so they won't find him and take him to an orphanage. There is a automaton (sp) that his father was working on and the boy is trying to get it running. How all this takes place and the boy finds a home is what the story is about. Try it, you'll like it!!!
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on December 17, 2012
My son requested this for his 10th birthday. It is a beautiful book. We are all very happy with it. It isn't at all what I expected- many sketches, few pages of text. There is something wonderfully fantastic about it, though.

The pages seem thicker than normal. They're framed in black, giving the book a quiet, almost magical feel.

The only drawback, but I cannot in good conscience take away stars, is that many of the pictures are two-pages and to see them well, you must break the spine of the book... and even then, you must live with its seam. I suppose the only way around this would be to shrink the pictures or enlarge the book... but that might steal some of the magic. So... there you have it. We are happy and this will be a much-loved book with a broken spine. We'd rather it be worn out, though, than never read at all.
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on March 25, 2014
This book was simply "ok" in my opinion. The dark, black-white-gray illustrations that make up a large part of this novel won Selznick the Caldecott, although, in my opinion, they aren't the best I've ever seen. The story is long and drawn out, and draws to an abrupt, anti-climactic conclusion that left me as a reader going "meh."
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VINE VOICEon April 20, 2012
As a teacher of dyslexic students, I appreciate just how hard it is to find a book for a low-skilled older student. Virtually impossible. You don't want to insult the student, but you don't want to frustrate them with a book that is entirely too difficult. And what about your emergent readers? Older students who are just learning to read. Do you give them picture books and chapter books? What if you had a really beautiful story, full of gorgeous illustrations disguised as usual middle reader book (except much bigger and much heavier)? Brian Selznick created a masterpiece with The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but when he did, I am sure he didn't realize he was creating a bridge for emergent readers into the world of book lovers.

Hugo was orphaned twice. When his father was killed in a fire in his workshop working on a device Hugo wanted him to fix, Hugo was sent to live with his uncle. Hugo's uncle lived in the train station and was responsible for winding all the clocks twice a day. It wasn't the hardest job in the world, but it took a lot of responsibility so the clocks didn't fall behind and break down. When Hugo's uncle disappears, Hugo takes over the clocks and keeps up the ruse his uncle is still there because he has no other place to go.

Unable to cash his uncle's checks, Hugo is forced to steal his food. He only steals out of necessity, except for toys. Hugo can't resist the toy booth run by the old man, but when he is caught stealing a toy mouse, the old man forces him to fix it. He takes Hugo's notebook- the last thing Hugo has from his father that holds the secrets to fixing the device his father died trying to fix for Hugo- the automaton. Hugo salvaged the automaton from the building where his father was killed, but without the notebook, he will never get the figure to work. When the old man sees Hugo's ability to fix the toy, he puts him to work fixing toys in the shop. By day Hugo works in the shop, but night he works on the automaton. It is a busy life, but Hugo just wants his notebook back. When the old man's goddaughter promises to get it back for him, he doesn't realize the secrets they will uncover together. There is more to the old man than Hugo ever realized, but then again, the old man didn't know Hugo was an orphan living in the train station either.

The beauty of this book, besides the pages and pages of beautiful illustrations, was the ability of those illustrations to tell huge parts of the story. An emergent reader must look at a book and be completely overwhelmed by all those words. Pages and pages of words. So what if half the story was told by a series of illustrations that wordlessly told a beautiful story of a sad boy who finds people who care about him? I love this book for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that I can just see a student who is just starting to read being able to successfully wade through this book in all its bulk (500+ pages) and know they have read a book. Imagine the pride that would come from that student?

So I have to say, I think Selznick is a genius. He created a book that is not only beautiful, but one that can appeal to even the most low-skilled students. I think it is an important book for any children's library or classroom, especially for students with learning disabilities. The illustrations can emote with little effort and will provide tons of material for discussions. You can have students write the dialogue or describe the illustrations as an activity. If a student is creative, you can have them illustrate the portions of the book that aren't already illustrated. The opportunities are limitless.
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on August 15, 2015
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an amazing book! My son and I read the book together this summer and loved it!! It was hard to put down. The art is amazing and adds another dimension to the storyline. It is truly incredible! We both love this book and highly recommend it.

From Sam (age 8):

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an amazing adventure that kids want to read all night. They will go on an awesome and cool adventure!
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on October 9, 2011
"From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything. He rubbed his fingers nervously against the small notebook in his pocket and told himself to be patient.

The old man in the toy booth was arguing with the girl. She was about Hugo's age, and he often saw her go into the booth with a book under her arm and disappear behind the counter.

The old man looked agitated today. Had he figured out some of his toys were missing? Well, there was nothing to be done about that now.

Hugo needed the toys."

Hugo Cabret is the perfect book to read in bed.

Brian Selznick's dreamy illustrations are the perfect format for this tale of orphans, old movies, train stations and wound down clocks. The charcoal drawings have a nighttime feel. The darkened cinema is a stage set for Hugo, Isabelle and Papa Georges to uncover hidden strengths, secret longings and old desires.

"The idea of going to the movies made Hugo remember something Father had once told him about going to the movies when he was just a boy, when the movies were new. Hugo's father had stepped into a dark room and, on a white screen, he had seen a rocket fly right into the eye of the man in the moon. Father said he had never experienced anything like it. It had been like seeing his dreams in the middle of the day."

Or the night. (Take it to bed with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk.)

Sweet reading!

Here's a link to the movie trailer:
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on August 26, 2017
My 9 year old has told me this is on par with Harry Potter and the Phantom Tollbooth, her favorite books.
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on November 27, 2011
I simply have never had this experience before. No book I've read has ever combined graphics as part of the actual movement of the story - not as supportive to the dialog, not to clarify the words, but as vehicles themselves to carry the story forward. They are pencil drawings, beautifully shaded. It is a more like the merging of a book and a silent black and white movie.

Good stories are layered. The tale hangs mainly on our protagonist, the orphan Hugo, living within the walls and spaces of a Parisian train station. He has taken on the function of time keeper/clock winder that his now missing uncle once performed. A mysterious mechanical man in disrepair, left to Hugo by his beloved father, becomes the vehicle to join the child to another station character - the crotchety toy merchant who maintains a small shop in the main concourse. Hugo uses pieces from the mechanical toys - which he has stolen from the merchant - to tinker with the mechanical man. Once he is caught, we have the opportunity to learn more about the old man through Hugo's interaction with him and his young niece, Hugo's new friend.

The pivotal character of the station's toy merchant pulls us further into this world when Hugo discovers his past as a magician and as a pioneer with film. By placing the story within a train station, Brian Selznick can tip his hat to some of the groundbreaking first attempts at film which used the same type of venue, as well as the genius of imagination that was set free with this new medium. The great clocks of the station's tower help us remember Harold Loyd, and the trains were the subjects of some of the first films. It is at this point that the use of the black and white illustrations takes on another function, speaking to us about the dramatic way images, without sound and color, can still speak to us so eloquently.

This is one of those special books that has a compelling story that can be read by a young reader, and at the same time can be a bridge to historical events when read by an adult. I chose to explore Hugo Cabret after seeing a trailer for the movie "Hugo." My intention was to pre-screen the book to see if it was appropriate for a great niece's Christmas present. To my surprise, as an adult I was enthralled. And as so often happens, the book's story became a doorway - it led me to trace more information about the earliest experiments with film. The relationship between early film and magicians was a surprise to me. And perhaps as a person living approximately a century after film began, let alone having no memory of a life without it, it is understandable that I had no perspective about the effects of the first films on their viewers - a world of imagination, nightmares and dreams. How strange, magical and wonderful it all must have seemed.

Knowing Scorsese's love of film history, I am now anxious to see how he has brought this book to film to tell both a child's story and to help all of us appreciate the evolution of what we are watching.
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