March Book Post – The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Cover © Scholastic, Inc.

Time to move on from picture books. Er…wait a second…

Our next book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (the book has its own website!) is written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. A few years ago it won the Caldecott Medal, the award given for the the best illustrations in American children’s literature. Usually only picture books win that award. This is a novel! That’s crazy!

Mr. Selznick illustrated the cover of a previous GR book, The Janitor’s Boy. He is a well known illustrator, most notable designing the covers of nearly all of Andrew Clements’ books.

There are not really any other books like this one. Mr. Selznick pushed the boundary of what we think a novel can be. I’m very interested to know what you think about it.

It is important to note that the pictures in this book must be “read.” The do not go along with the text, they replace the text. So don’t zip by them. Pay attention!

Have fun reading!

Also, we’ll be doing an optional, non-book Guys Read activity for this month. Stay tuned.

Meeting: Thursday, March 31, rockets at 5:30, book club at 6:30

Also: Here’s a bunch of stuff related to the book. Lots of links to movies mentioned in the book, a few other links, and the whole movie of A Trip to the Moon! Click on to check it out!

Here are links to clips movies mentioned in the book:

  • Safety Last, starring Harold Lloyd
  • The Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat, by the Lumiere brothers; one of the first movies ever made!
  • The Vanishing Lady, by Georges Méliès. It’s not the best quality. But it’s like 100 years old!
  • The Clock Store, a Disney “Silly Symphony” from 1931.
  • Paris Asleep, by René Clair. It is silent, and the caption cards are in French, but it’s interesting to look at.
  • The Million, also by René Clair. This is just a clip. This movie is the first French musical with singing parts. Sorry, no English subtitles. This one is also YouTube.

In addition to Georges Méliès, who is actually a character in the story, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Jean Renoir were also mentioned in the book.

In his credits at the end, Mr. Selznick said you could find out more about Georges Méliès here.

He also said you could see a real automaton here. One of the videos there features Mr. Selznick himself.

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3 Responses

  1. We’re building rockets for our own “Trip to the Moon!” OK, maybe not all the way to the moon. We’ll take two or three days to build them. March 15 and 17. See the note sent home today.

  2. A big thank you to the Meridian PTA for funding our rocket work! It’s great to have such wonderful support!

  3. Woooooo!

    That was awesome!

    Great meeting/rocket session, guys. It was a lot of fun launching rockets in the middle of three different soccer practices. Thank you nature for not being rainy and too windy.

    Great discussion on Hugo Cabret, too. It really was a fun book, with lots to talk about. Movies, trains, clocks, pictures. Super.

    Plus, chocolate croissants!

    And rounding it all out with a movie A Trip to the Moon. Pretty sweet. Of course, the movie was pretty silly, and French, and silent, and made in 1902. It’s over 100 years old!

    I had as much fun as I’ve ever had at Guys Read tonight. I hope you did, too.

    Video of our rockets going up soon!

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