Dots and I met with our Mother/Daughter Book Club this week to discuss The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This book had been Dots's suggestion at our organizational meeting in the fall, as she and I had both enjoyed reading it when it was released. The book has since been awarded The Caldecott Medal, for outstanding illustrations in children's literature, the first novel to be so honored.
Classified as historical fiction, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is inspired by the life of turn-of-the-century pioneer film-maker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures. At 526 pages Hugo Cabret appears to be a very long book, but much of it (300 pages) is comprised of fabulously intricate drawings that help tell the story. The author himself has described the book as "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things."
The response of our Book Club members to Hugo Cabret was interesting. It was unanimously well-liked by the girls, but the reaction of the mothers was mixed. Several of us loved it, but two mothers thought the illustrations interrupted the cadence of the reading experience; they would have preferred the story to be told exclusively through words, with the illustrations being merely supplemental.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret made for a wonderful discussion, however, and I thought it was great for the girls to see value and intrigue of respectful discordance.
Married for 26 years to Robert, three kids: Will (22), Vivian (19) and Dots (16) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, TRAVELING, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, corresponding with old friends
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