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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
Winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal
Texas Bluebonnet Award NomineeSM

"If one day in the far future, mankind is truly able to fly to the moon, we will have Georges Méliès and the movies to thank for helping us understand that if our dreams are big enough, anything is possible." The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Sit back in your seat. The lights are about to go out. The projector whirrs to life! The film is beginnining....5-4-3-2-1...

On the screen in front of you, you see images of people hurrying through the Paris railway station. You see them glancing at the clocks that line the hallways. No one is aware that it is a 12-year-old boy named Hugo Cabaret who keeps the clocks running. And no one knows that Hugo Cabaret is a thief.

What does Hugo Cabret steal? Watch, you will see. Toys! Through the hollow numbers on the inside of the clocks, you see Hugo peering at the toys in the toy booth. He needs their gears. He needs their other parts. But why? The old man who runs the toy booth in the station knows that SOMEONE is stealing his toys, and he is determined to catch the thief. There! You can see it in his eyes.

But, Hugo Cabret is careful. He is careful with the precious notebook filled with drawings that he carries in his pocket. He is careful not to get caught stealing the toys. But, today, Hugo is not careful enough.


Author and illustrator, Brian Selznick, creates magic with his pencil as he fills your eyes with detailed illustrations that appear to be right out of an early film and your mind with imagination through his words. He will lead you from fiction to fact that brings movies to life in the 1930s. Watch his movie carefully. You will start to see movement. The story of Hugo Cabret begins a transformation in children's literature. We looked for it to capture the coveted Newbery Medal for 2008, but were pleased that it received the Caldecott Medal for 2008.


Research Links for
The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Welcome to the Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Maillardet Automaton
Perspective in Visual Art
A French Folk Song (Right click, save as...)
used in the Transformers's Unit to write a summary ballad

The Brain Connection
Albert Einstein's Brain

DVD: Landmarks of Early Film, Volume 1

DVD: Méliès, The Magician

Literature Connections

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

Mack Made Movies by Don Brown, with Kids Wings Unit in Light in the Darkness

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, with Kids Wings Unit in Defeating Giants

Sea Dogs (a graphic novel) by Lisa Wheeler, with Kids Wings Unit in Light in the Darkness

Boy of a Thousand Faces by Brian Selznick
Kids Wings Unit in Roots and Wings

Frindle by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick with Kids Wings Unit in Heart of the Hero

Comets, Stars, The Moon, and Mars by Douglas Florian with Kids' Wings unit in Transformers

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

A 27-Page Unit for The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is a part of a collection of 24 units in Transformers.

The Unit Contains:
Discussion Cards
Crossword Puzzle
Summary Writing with a Ballad
Readers’ Theater Script
Map Study / Europe and France
Predict/Confirm Chapter Questions
Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities
Writing Prompts
Logic Puzzle

Mock Trial
and MORE!

The unit contains:
An Interactive Game
A song and melody for writing a summary ballad

Scott Joplin composition: "Cascade" is our background music!


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Disclaimer: Texas Bluebonnet AwardSM is a service mark of the Texas Library Association, which is in no way affiliated with Kids' Wings or Suzy Red. Use of the Texas Bluebonnet Award mark in these materials does not imply any endorsement of any kind on behalf of the Texas Library Association. The Texas Bluebonnet Book Master ListSM was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee of the Texas Library Association

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