by Brian Selznick
An orphaned boy named Hugo lives inside the walls of a Paris train station, surreptitiously tending clocks his uncle used to work on before he disappeared. While struggling to keep his life afloat- often stealing to obtain food- he is also working on a secret project: trying to restore an automaton that he thinks will give him a secret message from his father. Then he gets caught stealing clockwork parts from an old man\’s toy shop, and as punishment is made to work in the shop. The old man\’s granddaughter is curious about him and stubbornly refuses to give up as she tries to figure out his secrets. The story is not only about a boy growing up alone, living a secret life and trying to solve a little mystery but also about unexpected friendship, the dawn of filmmaking and holding onto your dreams…. it was surprisingly how all the threads of the story came together in the end, I really wasn\’t expecting some of the connections and the story felt quite unique to me.
I\’ve seen this book mentioned on quite a few blogs but never really added it to my list. Then it jumped out at me when I was idly browsing shelves at my daughter\’s school library last week (they have it open one day a week in the summer)- really I was following the crawling babe around to make sure she didn\’t cause havoc and then noticed this insanely fat book on the shelf right at my nose. I pulled it out and it was Hugo Cabret. So I decided right there to borrow and read it myself. And it was delightful. It looks really long but in fact most of the pages are pictures that tell the story in place of words, so you can get through it rather quickly. And the drawings are wonderful:
My husband has been to see the film with our daughter and he said the movie was astonishingly close to the book just in how the images translated to film alone. That makes me want to see it now, as well. And then read Wonderstruck.
rating: 3/5 ……. 533 pages, 2007