The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This is an amazing book that I was introduced to via @Joga5 a few weeks ago.hugo It is a rags to riches story of a young boy, Hugo who lives in a french train station and is building an automaton.  How he came to be living where he does, have an automaton and generally survive are all part of this story that is told through words, hand-drawn images and stills taken from old film.  This is a very clever way of weaving all three media together and makes for a real page-turner that I read in one go.

The story draws on old film and a real-life character George Melies, weaving fiction around them in a magical way.

Hugo is desperate to restore the automaton left by his father and the story rotates around his need to steal to obtain the parts necessary and the loss of the notebook that explains how the automaton was made.

What makes a rags to riches story?

  1. We meet the hero in their lowly, unhappy state surrounded by dark figures who scorn them
  2. The hero meets ordeals and overcomes them
  3. Everything goes wrong.  The hero is seperated form everything important to them and is in despair
  4. The hero emerges from the despair and discovers an independent strength.  This is put to the test.
  5. They succeed and live happily ever after.

To get an idea of the book, watch this trailer.

Have you used this book at all in literacy?  If so leave a comment about how it went.

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