For the film adaptation of the novel, see Hugo Cabret.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a historical-fiction book written and illustrated by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press. 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 533 pages, the book depends equally on its pictures as it does the actual 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 illustrations.

The book’s primary inspiration is the true story of turn-of-the-century pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called automata. Selznick decided to add automatons 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 actually had a set of automata, which were either sold or lost. At the end of his life Méliès was broke, even as films were screening widely in the US. He did work in a toy booth in a Paris railway station, hence the setting. Selznick drew Méliès's real door in the book. It is reported that Méliès did sell some of his films to a company where they were ultimately used to make heels for shoes.


Movie adaptation

Main article: Hugo Cabret

Martin Scorsese bought the screen rights to the book in 2007, and John Logan wrote the script. Scorsese began shooting the movie in London at Shepperton Studios in June 2010. It will be produced in 3D, and distributor Sony aims for a theatrical release on December 9, 2011. Asa Butterfield will be in the lead role, with Chloë Moretz as Isabelle, Sacha Baron Cohen as the station inspector and Sir Ben Kingsley as Papa Georges. Jude Law, Richard Griffiths, Ray Winstone, Sir Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour and Helen McCrory also star.[6]


  2. American Library Association: Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present. URL accessed 27 May 2009.
  3. "Horizon Information Portal - The Invention of Hugo Cabret". Hawaii Public Library System. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  4. The Association for Library Service to Children
  5. National Book Foundation
  6. "Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret Starts Filming Today". Retrieved June 29, 2010.  Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help)

External links

Preceded by
Caldecott Medal recipient
Succeeded by
The House in the Night
nl:The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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