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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Friendship Theme

It’s probably putting it lightly to say that Hugo doesn’t have too many friends. And when he finally does meet someone his age—Isabelle—they don’t get off to the best start. There are a lot of accusations flying back and forth and they always seem to be running away from each other or yelling. Talk about drama! But despite their rocky beginnings, they can’t help but rely on each other as they embark on the adventure of figuring out Papa Georges’s secrets. So it's no wonder then, that by the end of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, these two aren't just friends. They're family.

Questions About Friendship

  1. How important is friendship to Hugo at the beginning of the story? How important is it to him at the end? 
  2. What’s the relationship between Isabelle and Hugo like? How does it change? 
  3. Do you think it makes Papa Georges sad that he is no longer in contact with any of his old filmmaking friends?

Chew on This

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

Hugo sets out to fix the automaton as a kind of stand-in friend, but in the process, he discovers real, human friends.

Georges Méliès forges a kind of friendship with Hugo based off of mutual interests and a love of magic, even if they don’t initially act like they like each other.

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