The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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For the film adaptation of the novel, see Hugo (film).
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Invention of Hugo Cabret.jpg
Author Brian Selznick
Cover artist Brian Selznick
Country United States
Series None
Genre Historical Fiction
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication date
January 30, 2007
Media type hardback
Pages 526
ISBN 978-0-439-81378-5
OCLC 67383288
LC Class PZ7.S4654 Inv 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an American historical fiction book written and illustrated by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic. The hardcover edition was released on January 30, 2007, and the paperback edition was released on June 2, 2008. With 284 pictures between the book's 526 pages, the book depends as much on its pictures as it does on the words. Selznick himself has described the book as "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things".[1] The book won the 2008 Caldecott Medal,[2] the first novel to do so, as the Caldecott Medal is for picture books.[3]

The book's primary inspiration is the true story of turn-of-the-century French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called Automata. Selznick decided to add an Automaton to the storyline after reading Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood, which tells the story of Edison's attempt to create a talking wind-up doll. Méliès owned a set of automata, which were sold to a museum but lay forgotten in an attic for decades. Eventually, when someone re-discovered them, they had been ruined by rainwater. At the end of his life, Méliès was destitute, even as his films were screening widely in the United States. He sold toys from a booth in a Paris railway station, which provides the setting of the story. Selznick drew Méliès's real door in the book, as well as real columns and other details from the Montparnasse railway station in Paris.

Film adaptation[edit]

Main article: Hugo (film)

Martin Scorsese bought the screen rights to the book in 2007, and John Logan wrote the script. Scorsese began shooting the film in London at Shepperton Studios in June 2010. It was produced in 3D, with its theatrical release on November 23, 2011, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Asa Butterfield played the lead role of Hugo, with Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle, Sacha Baron Cohen as the station inspector and Ben Kingsley as Papa Georges (Méliès). Jude Law, Richard Griffiths, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour and Helen McCrory were also featured.[4] The film was released to universal critical acclaim, scoring a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 83 on Metacritic. In 2012, the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and ended up winning 5 (for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects).


  1. ^ Amazon .
  2. ^ Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 – Present, American Library Association, retrieved 27 May 2009 .
  3. ^ "Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 – Present". American Library Association. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret Starts Filming Today". Movieweb. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Caldecott Medal recipient
Succeeded by
The House in the Night