A review by bantwalkers
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


So Brian Selznick's newest book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, has had a lot of praise heaped upon it. National Book Award Finalist. Caldecott Medal Winner. It's been called "groundbreaking." And there are rumors Martin Scorsese may direct the movie adaptation (he isn’t).
That aside, Selznick's book really is quite an amazing piece of work. Part picture book, part novel, the book tells the story of Hugo Cabret, a boy who's lost his father and his uncle and must fend for himself on the streets of Paris. Well, the train station of Paris at the very least. And while graphic novels have done what this book does for years, there is still a groundbreaking quality.
It could be that the pictures are mostly simple pencil sketches to help move the story along. Or it could be how they are used so cinematically. At times, like a chase scene late in the book, where words couldn't do justice, Selznick lets his images tell the story. And somehow manages to dazzle and amaze the reader by picking the right moments to show. He also keeps readers enthralled with mystery and magic. Not to mention film buffs will enjoy the film references and the integral part movies play to the story.
It may be a children's book. It may not be groundbreaking. It may not be directed by Scorsese (it won’t be). But The Invention of Hugo Cabret plays on our imaginations like only a true masterpiece can.