Orphan, clock keeper, thief…

Hey kids!

Do I have a book for you to read during Easter break.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to read.

In between swinging on trees in the woods, and maybe building a fort behind the house, and leading each other blind-folded through the ravine, I’m sure a rainy day will find you complaining there’s “nothing to do”.

We can read when you come inside, kids!

Here’s a magical, mystical, wonderful, fascinating, magnificent wild hullabaloo of a book in which to delve, to dive, to immerse yourself within its swiftly moving pages.  It’s mysteriously called “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”

Don’t be alarmed that the book looks three inches thick.  Don’t turn away thinking it will take you until Memorial Day to finish.


It’s a surprising book.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

You open to black pages.

Here’s how it starts:

A Brief Introduction

The story I am about to share with you takes place in 1931, under the roofs of Paris.  Here you will meet a boy named Hugo Cabret, who once, long ago, discovered a mysterious drawing that changed his life forever.

But before you turn the page, I want you to picture yourself sitting in the darkness, like the beginning of a movie.  On screen, the sun will soon rise, and you will find yourself zooming toward a train station in the middle of the city.  You will rush through the doors into a crowded lobby.  You will eventually spot a boy amid the crowd, and he will start to move through the train station.  Follow him, because this is Hugo Cabret.  His head is full of secrets, and he’s waiting for his story to begin.    –Professor H. Alcofrisbas

Meet Hugo

You will turn the black pages, flipping through page after page after page after page of black-and-white drawings, bringing us into the amazing world of Hugo Cabret.

I will tell you one more little secret.

He’s an orphan who lives in the walls of the train station.

Meet Isabelle

The author, Monsieur Brian Selznick (the Monsieur is his honorific title since it is a French story) leads us into the most magical of worlds.  It is so magical that the children’s book won a Caldecott Medal and is apparently–oh thank our lucky stars!–a “Major Motion Picture”.

(I just Googled it, oh yes, of course, how could I have not known?–the movie “Hugo”!  I suppose half the world already knows the story about this “Orphan, Clock Keeper and Thief.”  Sometime we kids who live in the woods with no television are a little behind the times because we spend too much time building tree forts and imagining our own wild & crazy stories.  I’m sure you’ve all sat hours devouring this delightful book already, and have watched the movie three times.  If that’s the case–please add your own book review in the comments.)

The book stretches 284 pages, but those of you who have not yet read it will watch the time pass quickly.  I read it yesterday in three hours, flipping eagerly through the pages, seeking the climax of the exciting chronicle.

Kids, it’s an excellent way to spend your rainy hours during spring break–I promise!

Words, glorious words!

After you’re finished, we’ll rent the movie, because, as we all know, books ought to be read before watching the movie.  It’s the proper order of the Universe.

Now get outside and play while it’s still nice…

P.S.  It’s a great book for grownups, too.  I promise!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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42 Responses to Orphan, clock keeper, thief…

  1. It looks like it smells good. I love the smell of old books, don’t you?

  2. One of the most original, inspiring books ever written, with a brilliant mix f images and text. No wonder Mr Scorsese turned it into a film. the book screamed out to be filmed.

  3. …and if you’ve never read “Time at the Top” by Edward Ormondroyd, “Black and Blue Magic” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Or “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle please pick those up at your local library as well. You’ll be oh-so-glad you did!

  4. Lori DiNardi says:

    Cool. Thanks for the recommend. The intro already hooked me. And, as you know from my blog, I have no rainy days here to set aside for reading (where are you rain?). ;-P

  5. lisaspiral says:

    Phillip Pullman’s The Dark Materials Trilogy is also very good and so are the Dark is Rising books by Susan Cooper.

  6. Brenda Hardie says:

    Sounds fascinating! I’ve seen the movie advertised but haven’t seen the actual movie. I prefer to read the books first and didn’t realize there was a book for that movie…so thank you! I am definitely going to look for it for Alex and I to read together. It’s fun that way because then we both get to enjoy the adventure!
    I’m always open to good book suggestions!! I so often get “stuck in a rut” reading the same kind of books (my favorite are nonfiction historical accounts of survival and just life…like pioneers, or people who “live in the wilderness”, war stories, etc.) But I also know there is a whole world of good books out there just begging to be read. So I love that suggestions are listed and will check back for any more suggestions 🙂
    Have a great weekend Kathy ♥

  7. Elisa's Spot says:

    ooooooooooooooo thank you Kathy! I was feeling the need for fun today.

  8. Dana says:

    I just saw the movie and enjoyed it immensely. Can’t wait to try getting my hands on a copy of the book, too– books are almost always better than the movies.

  9. I feel a road trip to the library coming on…

  10. I have wanted to see the movie. Now I want to read the book. Thanks for the recommendation, Kathy. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  11. Joanne says:

    Oh wow…laughing at Elisa…if the book is THAT good, I’ll have to go and see if I can find it myself! 😀 I’m about to write out a list of all the other books your friends have recommended here. Sometimes I have trouble finding books in the stores in Australia, but I always end up finding them on Amazon. I agree with LittleStoryBlog, I love the smell of books too! 🙂

  12. Dawn says:

    Three hours of reading for over 200 pages, MUST be good!

  13. Karma says:

    I didn’t realize that the movie “Hugo” was a book, LOL. I’m in the middle of reading the “Hunger Games” trilogy right now, and these are books written for kids that I am really enjoying. When I say “kids”, I guess I really mean young teens, but the story sweeps you along in no time!

  14. irenelefort says:

    This goes on my list of books to read. 🙂

  15. Looks interesting – but I will have to go to renew my library card and then wait patiently, because there is a long waiting list to borrow the book. Must be a good one! Too bad it’s not available on Kindle, but I suppose that would not work so well with all the drawings…. Thanks for the suggestion!

  16. Pingback: The Spectacular Average « Elisa's Spot

  17. This really sounds like it would capture the imagination! Thanks. I love the drawings too…who says adults can’t read books with pictures anymore?

    I just nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. Details here: http://bit.ly/HJ8NgB

  18. Connie t says:

    I saw the movie but I bet the book was better. I will see if I can get it at the library. I love to get e-books.

  19. Sybil says:

    I love the sound of this book. I’ll look for it.

    Thanks for the tip.

  20. I like the sound of this

  21. Colleen says:

    I love your description and enthusiasm for this book Kathy. It’s been on my radar for a while but I haven’t read it as of yet. I’m also thinking it would be a great addition to our grandkids Easter parcels. Thank you for the idea 🙂

  22. Kathy says:

    I hope everyone who gets their hands upon this book enjoys it. (I was so enthused when reading it last Friday afternoon that I completely forgot that others might not like this style.) I sat here reading in our little house and felt so happy and delighted with the way Life unexpectedly offers new opportunities, new books, new bits of joy. Christopher used to spend hours drawing and writing and it so reminded me of him. Am going to buy him a copy of this book. Thank you all for pausing here and commenting. I appreciate all of you.

    • Kathy says:

      P.S. Thanks for the other book suggestions everyone provided, and yes, old books smell lovely. This one was brand new, though–just bought through our school library. And Elisa I smiled at your enthusiasm to run right to the library and dive in! We’ll watch the movie during Barry’s knee surgery recovery.

  23. sterlingsop says:

    This is EXACTLY the kind of book that makes me wish I was my 9yr old self again with my whole reading experience ahead of me. JK Rowling eat your heart out!

  24. Robin says:

    I have this book on my reading list, and my inner child is very much looking forward to reading it. 🙂

  25. The Hook says:

    My daughter loved the book and was confused by the film version!

  26. Kathy says:

    Thanks again, everyone. All your little children–OK, most of them–will delight. Hook, I am wondering if I will be confused by the film version, too. Can’t wait to see it–hopefully within the next few weeks.

  27. Heather says:

    This sounds like the perfect thing to read with my nieces and nephews! And I completely agree about reading the books first – that IS the proper order of the Universe 😉

  28. flandrumhill says:

    Did the kids ever come inside to read? I’m guessing they did. They look so very sweet.

    I was clueless about the movie/book too until reading this. I will check them out, but the book first (of course).

  29. Elisa's Spot says:

    oh FOUL FOUL FILTH FOUL (hear bill cosby there)
    let me just say that I stopped watching the movie….

    I may have to read the book again to get back to the good feelings!

  30. Kathy says:

    Hello again, dear Clock Keepers and readers, alike. Oh, Elisa, I hope the movie isn’t THAT bad because I’ve just rented it for the Patient & Myself to watch. Along with two others. We can keep them for five days, mind you. I am soooo tired I wouldn’t mind living in the walls of a train station. tee hee. Good night readers, good night Orphans, Clock Keepers and Thieves… Thanks again for stopping by and offering your words of wisdom. I know you would have drawn pictures, too, if the computer would let you. 🙂

  31. Kathy says:

    P.S. Amy-Lynn, yes, yes, my two ALWAYS came in to read and they are reading to this day!

  32. katyarich says:

    I haven’t read the book I saw the film, the introduction is fascinating, thanks to share:)

  33. Kathy says:

    Glad you enjoyed! We saw the movie the other night and liked it–both my husband and myself. I did like the book better, though. The book felt like magic. The movie felt more ordinary, but it was still good.

  34. a long time ago i saw the premiere of The Sound and The Fury (william faulkner) in Jackson, MS. Of course, I had read the book and was soooooooooooooooooooooooo disappointed in the movie that I NEVER go and see a movie after reading a good book. My imagination (my opinion only) is much better than the movie makers.
    Is this a mean comment? I hope not.

  35. Kathy says:

    Ha ha, not a mean comment at all! I like how our imagination can make better movies…

  36. Reggie says:

    Oooh, this sounds like a totally magical book, I’m going to have a look if it’s on the shelves of the local bookshop! (I know I’m joining the conversation rather late, I have an alarming backlog of unread blogposts to catch up on!)

  37. Kathy says:

    Let me know if you get the book and what you think of it. I thought it was magical!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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