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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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Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

13 thoughts on “Hugo Cabret Leave a comment

  1. I understand about Sam not wanting to finish a book and “linger” in it. The books I long to linger in tend to be my absolute favorites…

    I am currently reading a book to discuss with a student (Jack Stalwart series) and Vaclav and Lena (for book club), lots of magazines (given to me for free from friends), and lots of great blog entries!

    Did Sam love the clock theme???


  2. Great post about Hugo on here and the other blog- it is a beautiful, brilliant book. Have you seen the movie yet? It was amazingly well done.

    I also loved Wonderstruck- I actually connected to it more than Hugo, but they are both great.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂


  3. So sweet! I am not good at savoring books. I am totally known to stay up late finishing a book, too…and lately I finish and then jump right into the next. What I really love about reading with my kiddos is that they want to read books again and again and again right now. I’ve only recently embraced rereading and I think part of it comes from reading with them. 🙂


  4. This week, a very special little girl in my life shared books from Laura Keller, an author who visited her school. They are busy and frenetic and exciting at the same time. I really have enjoyed them….even though I usually don’t like books with so much visual stimulation.. The stories are well developed and interesting with lots of facts in information. I do not have the luxury of every night reading to this little one…so I choose lots of wonderful picture books that elicit discussion. THIS TIME, she showed ME some good books!


  5. There is so much in graphic novels to explore, and this one seems to go steps further. I’m glad you had patience for waiting. That’s hard! I’ll go check out your other post Ruth. I’m just happy to hear about some parent reading to their child. I loved doing it & don’t get enough time reading with my granddaughters. I will, though, I will.


  6. Your Hugo Cabret letter is priceless. Some of my reading memories are my happiest of their childhood. Even though Hugo isn’t a high school book, I think I’ll read it anyway. Thanks for the smile today.


  7. I certainly have to agree with Sam. Hugo Cabret was a book to savor and enjoy. I have recommended this book to many of my reluctant 7th grade readers and they loved it, just as I did. What a wonderful piece of literature!!


  8. I read Hugo Cabret to my fourth graders the first semester and then we met at the movies on a Saturday. It was awesome, and it was so nice to compare the book to the movie. We decided the book was so much better. ; ) I also wanted to tell you that I read Wonder, on your recommendation, over our break and now I am reading it out loud to my class and we are doing reading responses. It has been truly one of the best books to read out loud. My students do not know the title. I am keeping it a mystery for prediction purposes! It has added to the intrigue all the more. Thanks for all that you do. I enjoy your blog each and every day!


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