Friday, December 28, 2007

Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I’m not going to say much about Hugo – I think this is one of the books which I’m the last person on the planet to read and review. I found it to be an interesting concept – not a novel that stands on its own but not a graphic novel either, although like a graphic novel the pictures and the words work together to tell the entire story.

Sometimes the story itself demands the format in which it is told. To tell the story of someone who showed the limitless ability of film to follow the imagination, Selznick uses both words, beautiful drawings, and stills from the films of Georges Méliès. The result is a wonderful book that could be explored for hours. My nephew received this book for Christmas and his first statement about it was “Wow! This is a great book!” It was his copy that I borrowed to read.

I do understand the dilemma as to whether or not this book qualifies for the Newbery, and I must agree with those who feel that it doesn’t because the pictures are such an integral part of the story that without them, too much is lost. And while I have nothing against the author’s writing style, there are many other books that have been published this year that are better written.

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