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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret


by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What’s with all the pictures? Does the author think we’re stupid, or something? How do they add to the story?
  2. Let’s talk about the timeline. Why does the book skip forward six months at the end? Why don’t we get to know everything that happens?
  3. Why is the history of movies so important to the story? And why can’t we just watch a movie instead of reading this stuff, anyway?
  4. Georges Méliès has two personalities. He’s Papa Georges to Isabelle and Mama Jeanne, but to the world, he’s renowned filmmaker Georges Méliès. How do these two parts of himself come together throughout the book?
  5. Why is Hugo so scared of the Station Inspector, anyway? And why can’t he just explain to him that his uncle went missing?
  6. What if the story was told from the point of the view of the automaton? Do you think his story would be interesting (or just plain creepy)?
  7. Why do you think some of the pages have such short text? Is it because Selznick thinks we get bored easily, or does it help with the flow of the story?
  8. How do those old school movies sound in comparison to the ones we have today? Are they as fun and exciting as, say, Transformers? Hey, we said exciting, not good.
  9. Brian Selznick originally said that he didn’t think Hugo could be translated into a movie. Any thoughts on why he would think that? Did you catch the flick? Is he right or wrong?
  10. What is Isabelle’s role in the story? Is she a typical sidekick (the Robin to Hugo’s Batman) or does she carry her own weight? How so?

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