Title: The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Author: Brian Selznick.
Genre: Fiction, picture books, YA, teen, historical fiction,
Publication Date: January 30, 2007.
Summary: 1931. 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 with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the 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. The book's primary inspiration is the true story of turn-of-the-century French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called Automata.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ Hugo thought about his father’s description of the automaton. “Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?” he asked Isabelle. “They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.”
Isabelle picked up the mouse, wound it again, and set it down.
“Maybe it’s the same with people,” Hugo continued. “If you lose your purpose... it’s like you’re broken.”
♥ Between Hugo’s injured hand and Isabelle’s sprained foot, it was extremely difficult for them to get up the staircases and the ladder, but they helped each other and at last they came to the glass clocks that overlooked the city. The clocks were supposed to be lit from the inside, but the wiring had long ago stopped working.
“It’s so beautiful,” said Isabelle. “It looks like the whole city is made out of stars.”
“Sometimes I come up here at night, even when I’m not fixing the clocks, just to look at the city. I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
♥ The lights came up and the man of honor was then invited up on stage, where he was given a gold laurel wreath to wear as a crown. He stepped to the podium and said to the audience in a proud, emotion-filled voice, “As I look out at all of you gathered here, I want to say that I don’t see a room full of Parisians in top hats and diamonds and silk dresses. I don’t see bankers and housewives and store clerks. No. I address you all tonight as you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers.”