Hugo thought about his father’s description of the automaton. “Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?” he asked Isabelle. “They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.” Isabelle picked up the mouse, wound it again, and set it down. “Maybe it’s the same with people,” Hugo continued. “If you lose your purpose…it’s like you’re broken.”
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, pg. 374
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick was the book I chose to read for the reading challenge category “A Book You Can Finish In a Day.” Hugo is an orphaned boy who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris. He must keep the clocks at the station running while keeping his existence a secret. Hugo is hanging on to the hope that an automaton has a message for him from his father. In order to get parts to fix this automaton, he has been stealing various things from a toy shop owned by George Méliés. (The toy shop is in the train station.) Méliés has tried to forget the past and what he once was. Instead of moving on though, he is bitter, broken, and has lost his purpose.
As the worlds of these two characters collide, an intricate story unfolds…one of survival, hurt, loss, brokenness, and healing. The story is captivating; the pictures stunning. This book will not only tug at your heart, but also beg to be read and re-read. It’s one of the books I absolutely love and have read it more than once. I’ve also watched the movie several times as well. 🙂