By Brian Selznick: Scholastic Press 2007
Summary: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks—like the gears of the clocks he keeps—with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life and his most precious secret are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
My Review: Wow! This was totally new reading experience for me. These 284 pages of drawings it provides the same experience as picture books, graphic novels, and films. The lengthy sections of wordless illustrations are interspersed with pages of more traditional novelistic prose. It is a heartfelt story about an orphan, the history of early cinema, the mechanics of clocks and other intricate machinery, and a little bit of magic. I did not put this book down! I found it to be exciting and new because of the art, literature, and the entertainment it provided. It’s a real page turner for sure! I highly recommend this book for people of all ages.
Things to Watch Out for: Brief drinking and drunkenness.