Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

For Christmas we gave Sam The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Sam and I have been reading it ever since. I like to move through books quickly, often staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish the story. I can’t wait to finish stories, wanting the character world to be restored to a peaceful existence.

Sam likes to linger in the story. So we read on Saturday mornings, but only a chapter or two at a time. “Let’s savor it, Mom,” Sam said to me. He also made me promise — pinky promise! — not to read ahead. It has been pure torture. Then, in a final act of agony, last week when we were two chapters from the end, Sam closed the book and said, “I don’t want it to end yet. Let’s save it.”

I looked at him in disbelief. “We’ll be done in a few minutes.”

“I know,” he said, “I don’t want it to end. Put the bookmark in.”

He took the book out of my hands and left me with the characters swirling in my mind. We finished it this morning.


“Mom, I just want everyone I know to read this story.” Sam hugs the book to his chest.

I know the feeling. “You should write a letter to someone and tell them.”

“Well Hannah and Steph plan to read it next.” (They’ve been tortured by Sam’s self-control as a reader too.) “But I think Mimi and Nancy would enjoy it too. And Mrs. Self.” (Nancy is a librarian at the same library as my mom. Sam and Nancy have been discussing books for years.)

“Maybe you should write a letter.”

And because he’s a reader at heart, that’s all it took. He grabbed a piece of paper, a pencil, and began writing to another reader.

Der Mimi, I just finisht Hugo Cabret and the athr Brian Selznick. In the story Hugo emtys his pocets. Love, Sam P.S. It is good bekus the end is happy! I injoyd it soso much!!!!!

To read more about my thoughts of Hugo Cabret and how it impacts me as a writer, check out my post on Ruth Ayres Writes. (I’ve also listed a few teaching points I envision using The Invention of Hugo Cabret for during minilessons or conferences.

PS — Hannah and Stephanie are snuggled up with the book, entering into Selznick’s incredible world.

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