Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This is probably the heaviest book I have ever read. Don't be intimidated by how big it is --I read it in one night. There are a lot of illustrations, and the illustrations are part of the story. They're black and white, but even so they're riveting. The story is part adventure, part mystery. The main character is a boy who's living on his own (since his evil uncle disappeared) in the walls of the train station, taking care of all the clocks in the station, and trying not to get caught. He collects his uncle's paychecks and piles them up because he doesn't know how to cash them. He knows a lot about clocks because his father was a clockmaker, and he has a mechanical man (called an automaton) he rescued from the museum fire that killed his father. He steals mechanical parts and toys from a toy stall in the station to use to try and fix the automaton. He meets a girl who's lives with the toyseller and his wife, and even though they fight a lot, she eventually helps him get the automaton to work, which leads to a surprising discovery about the toyseller. I really enjoyed reading this. Review by Stacy Church

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