and then there are pages of pictures drawn by the author in a silent movie style format! Just like this:
Besides the wonderful myserious characters, we are introduced to magic, train crashes, the early days of film making, clock repair, and robotic figures called automatons. While the book is fictional, these events and historical pieces are real. We also learn that one character was a real historical figure.
We are nearing the conclusion of the story. On Friday we watched a copy of Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon" with almost as much awe as Hugo's father would have had when he mentioned viewing the movie to his son. Here is another version with a narrator reading from the actual script that Georges Meilias wrote to be read along with the film.
Here is a Scholastic quick video book talk.
Here is a post with links that I wrote last year about the book and another post with a few interesting videos that I made in 2009. I enjoy and learn more about the book each time that I read it.
Brian Selznick gives the inside story of "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."
Brian Selznick Answers Readers Questions Now someone has to look for those hidden initials!
Here is a photo of the Paris Train Crash at the Montparnasse train station in Paris, France in 1895.
The train crash is mentioned in "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" along with an illustration. Gare Montparnasse is the train station that comprises much of the setting for the story.
When my son, Andrew was a little guy, he loved "Thomas the Tank Engine". I haven't had to watch this show or read the books, again and again, for many years, but I recall that this famous accident was the inspiration for one Thomas video, "A Better View for Gordon." If you don't want to watch the whole episode, you can scroll ahead to the 3:00 mark. Enjoy!
There are also a couple of real life replicas of the train wreck in Brazil.
Here is a wonderfully creepy video of many different automata. Most of these automata were made in France in the middle years of the 1800's. As the video says, "They were a miracle of home entertainment. 3-dimentional movement before even 2-dimensional film had been invented."
It occurs to me as I watch this video and listen to the narrator say this, of automata, ""There hearts are not hearts, but clockwork springs. Their lungs not lungs, but leather bellows." that the automaton in the book is not the only character like this in the story. Hugo "fixes" the broken automaton, but he wanders through the station like an automaton himself fixing the clocks as this is his task in life. Hugo is a character who has suffered loss and has lost his heart and is in need of repair. The author often refers to the cogs and wheels in Hugo's head. Another character who has lost his "heart" and is going through the motions in the toy store is Papa Georges. As Hugo fixes the mysterious automata, he also unlocks clues to other mysteries that help him find his own heart as well as the heart of Papa Georges bringing both of these characters back to life. That is a fitting end to a story that brings many "lost" events back to our recollections.