The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. (Grades 4 and up.)
I... don't really have to review Hugo, do I? I mean... y'all have already read it, right? And if you haven't read it, you've at least read all about it, yes?
Well. Here's what we'll do. Since I resolved to read and review all the 2009 Caudill nominees, I will share with you what I wrote about this book when I read it in March. But then I'll also link to some better reviews. Deal? Deal.
"Hugo Cabret is an orphan living in a train station in Paris. He was living with his alcoholic uncle who took care of the clocks in the station, but his uncle seems to have disappeared and now Hugo is unsure what to do. He keeps on winding the clocks so that no one will notice and force him into an orphanage, and he keeps on working on his special project. It was a project that his father had left him before he died- a mechanical man that, Hugo suspects, when fixed will write a message. In fact, since his father's death, Hugo has become obsessed with the machine and his hopes that the automaton will give him a last message from his father. Unfortunately, to keep fixing the man Hugo needs parts, which he has to steal. And when he is caught by the shopkeeper, Hugo fears that his whole project is in jeopardy...
An innovative book with beautiful art. This book is not quite a graphic novel, nor is it complete without the pictures. I don't think I'd have been interested in the story on its own, but the drawings are more than worth cracking this puppy open."
And be sure to check out other reviews at: Becky's Book Reviews, Fuse #8, and Hypothetically Speaking. And then read Susan's post about why Hugo was going to break her heart (thank goodness it didn't!).