After his parents die in a tragic house fire, Hugo Cabret becomes an apprentice to his uncle, who lives inside the walls of a Paris train station. Hugo learns how to maintain all of the station’s clocks, and he takes over the job when his uncle mysteriously goes missing. When Hugo recovers a mechanical robot from the ashes of his old home, he embarks on a quest to repair the delicate machinery that serves as the only link to his family.
While this thick book can look quite intimidating at first, it’s actually a very fast read. Over half of the pages are illustrations, which definitely add a lot of weight to the story. You’ll find yourself flipping through the illustrated scenes of action and suspense so quickly that you’ll feel like you’re reading a movie! I won’t give away any of the ending to this awesome book, but I guarantee you’ll appreciate the visual format once you’ve followed Hugo into his discoveries about the origins of French movie-making!
This book is kind of an amazing invention itself, and it was neat to get a chance to explore the history of popular culture. Most of the history classes I’ve taken were more concerned with war and politics than with culture, even though things like movies and television shows can have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. Take a moment to look around at some of the “modern technology” you use every day. How do you think that the next generation will feel about our iPhones or iPads? Will they appreciate how this technology has changed our lives, or will they just laugh at these old antiques?