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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Book Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This is a children's book unlike any other I've seen. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a book about an orphan boy who tends the clocks of Paris, having learned the trade from his alcoholic Uncle, who has long been missing. He steals things not only to survive, as his Uncle cannot provide for him (he's missing, remember?), but also to repair the mysterious Automaton, a mechanical man which he found in the burnt out ruins of a museum, one of the clues to an unfolding mystery that has been driving him all his life.

The book has it all, serious yoink-ing (the avant-garde of thievery), the history of early cinema (and presented in a non-boring way), a French girl who has a taste for books, an old man who makes clockwork toys, and a guy with an eyepatch who befriends our protagonist.

I give this 9.5 "Clockwork Gears" out of 10, minus 1.5 for the constant thievery which may set a bad example for younger children.

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