The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Clocks are intricate. Clocks are fascinating. Don’t think so? Ask Hugo.

The book is set in a railway station in the 1930s, France. Hugo Cabret is a 12-year-old orphan boy who lives in the station. He used to be apprenticed to his uncle, the railway station’s timekeeper. When Uncle Claude disappears, Hugo simply keeps the clocks going himself, as he’s been taught. As long as the Station Inspector doesn’t suspect anything, everything will go fine. As well as keeping the clocks ticking, Hugo has an automaton that he’s trying to fix. When he meets an old man and his goddaughter, Hugo learns that just as he’s been keeping the automaton a secret, the automaton has been keeping secrets from him.

Invention of Hugo Cabret

I found The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick a wonderful book, even the second time around. (gotta love those kinds of books) I read it first because I’d read another of Brian Selznick’s books (Wonderstruck) and loved that. Something thatĀ grabs your attention right away in The Invention of Hugo Cabret are the pictures. As someone who likes to draw, I appreciated the pictures very much. Drawings are just another way to tell stories, really, and Mr. Selznick tells bits of his story well with the pictures. I found myself pausing, just to admire the beauty of them. They made me grin. (The pictures also add to the thickness of the book, making it look much longer than it really is.)

There is such wonderful symbolism and linkage throughout the book. Everything fits so neatly together, like the gears of the clocks Hugo works on. The end of the story knots all the loose ends together very tightly. That was extremely satisfying.

I think this book would be appealing to anyone from the ages of 10 to mid-teen years, although I’m sure it could be enjoyable to those older and younger as well. I’d definitely recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret to anyone looking for a pleasant read.

Lord of the Flies

By William Golding
Several boys are marooned on an island, and must learn to survive and behave without grown ups. That is most of what happens in Lord of the Flies. It may not sound riveting, but there’s a little more to it than that. Addressing in a roundabout manner the general morality of people, Lord of the Flies is very interesting.

A rebel, Jack, arises from the group to challenge Ralph, the leader the boys have chosen. When Ralph stands firm, Jack takes the few boys who follow him into the woods to form his own tribe. Ralph’s tribe, pressured with the upkeep of a signal fire, has trouble hunting. Not to mention that a strange beast is lurking.

Overall, Lord of the Flies is a great book, and an important moral is instilled. It is not fast-paced, but that aspect helps add to the suspense. There are also a few gory parts in it. Late middle school, high school or older would probably be a suitable age range for an audience.