The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

ย  Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York: Scholastic, 2007.

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(Note: books are rated between one and five smiley faces, one being a book that I didnโ€™t like all that much, and five being a book I loved.)

Ahh! To be eleven years old and to discover this book. Too bad it wasn’t around when I was that age. Sigh! Then again, the eleven-year-old me probably would not have finished it and immediately wanted to head off to a silent movie festival (preferably a French one). That is to say: this is definitely a book to capture the imaginations of both children and adults.

I don’t want to say too much about the actual story and the way it is presented. The best way to experience the lovely magic of this book in its full glory is to open it and just read. I made the mistake of going online to read about it when I had finished Part One, only to discover that everyone who writes about it — despite singing its praises — seems to be determined to ruin its magic. My advice to you? Get to the library post haste, and check it out. Do not even read the jacket copy (if you can help yourself). Just turn to the first page and begin. Oh, and one more piece of advice: do not begin it a mere hour or so before bedtime unless you relish the idea ofย  losing half a night’s sleep to finish it.

Once you are done, perhaps you will draw the same conclusion I did. This book, with its simple drawings and with no digitally-derived “special effects” proves why the printed page still has the creative advantage overย the electronic one. (Yes, that’s me saying that, the one who has been all gung-ho online research and ebooks for some time now and who creates these book reviews via electronic means.) ย And the next time you need to buy a present for a child, you now have a magnificent alternative to Harry Potter.