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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an incredible book that you should definitely try and get your hands on. There are 284 beautiful illustrations by the author Brian Selznick in between the 500 odd pages of the book that really bring the plot to life and make you feel like you’re truly inside the world of Hugo Cabret. And what a world it is!


Set in Paris, readers dive into the magic-filled world of Hugo, and orphaned boy who lives in the clock tower on a train station, secretly working the clocks and avoiding being caught and sent to live at the orphanage. Hugo is obsessed with fixing an automaton that he and his father we working on restoring before his father died. The automaton lives in the clock tower with him, hiding away from any straying eyes.


Whilst trying to steal the mechanical pieces he needs to fix the automaton, Hugo comes into acquaintance with Georges Méliès, the owner of the toy stall at the station. He is far more than just a toy sales man however, with the help of the shop keeper’s daughter, Hugo finds out a vast amount about Georges Méliès’ past. This past includes a magical mix of fame, the silver screen, acting, cinema, and national history. Indeed, he turns out to be an important person whom many consider dead!


The automaton is the centre of all the mystery that remains unlined in the book. However, even when the automaton is finished, Hugo is still missing the key to make it start. What will happen when the automaton comes to life, we can only guess. But it’s bound to be important in the plot, and with all the magic and memory attached to the automaton by Hugo, we know it’s coming to life will be important to him. Where will Hugo find the key for the automaton? Will he have to steal more parts to make one?


Hugo’s natural curiosity and determination to finish the automaton are his driving forces to get him through. Throughout the book, timeless friendships are made and a beautiful sense of content is achieved not only by the characters but by the readers too!

This wonderful illustrated novel is packed with mystery and enchantment, with a lonely, kind, orphaned boy at the heart of it, endearing readers from the time it was first published, far into the foreseeable future. Everything about this novel is ridiculously amazing – sometimes I take it off my bookshelf just to look at the fantastic illustrations! You’d be a fool not to read it!

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