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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Awe and Amazement Theme

In The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo’s got quite the hard knock life for such a little boy—he has to work on clocks, he lives in a train station, he’s orphaned, and the list goes on. But he still somehow finds the time and optimism to be in awe of things. And no wonder! He’s experiencing the magic of film, automatons, and meeting a real live magician. If there’s anything that this book is about, it’s about magic—and how you can always be amazed by it, even if your life has gone to the wolves.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. What’s so amazing about a little robot man who can write anyway?
  2. What’s the connection between magic and film in the story?
  3. How do all those pictures make you feel as a reader? Do they make the story a little more special (or at least easier to get through)?
  4. What's the most awe-inspiring thing in the book?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The mechanical man is pretty awe inspiring, but it’s just a piece of rubbish until Hugo picks it up and starts to work on it. In other words, Hugo makes it awe-inspiring.

Georges Méliès finds magic in film, but there’s magic to be found in everyday life, too. After all, Hugo and Isabelle find it as they’re looking out over the city of Paris at night.

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