The Invention of Hugo Cabret was such an outstanding book. Briefly, “Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.” The book has unbelievable drawings in it. It’s a novel, but full of pictures too. I have high hopes for the movie – it comes out November 23, 2011.
Take a look at the trailer:
This 550 page novel has a big surprise once you open it…the fact that many of the pages are pictures! It’s a bit like reading, and then turning the pages like a little movie, and then reading some more. The pictures are drawn from interesting angles and perspectives and are as much fun as the story. It is not a pictures book, but an illustrated novel, like a comic book or graphic novel.
12 year-old Hugo is an orphan living in a train station in Paris, but he doesn’t live out in the bustle of the station, he lives in the walls! Hugo is an apprentice to the clock keeper, who happens to be Hugo’s Uncle. Hugo’s Uncle has disappeared leaving Hugo to tend the clocks. Afraid of being discovered, Hugo continues to do his Uncle’s job and collecting his Uncle’s paychecks, even though he can’t cash them. Hugo scavenges for food and sometimes has to steal.
Hugo has a big job just to survive alone, but in his free time, Hugo enjoys working on a project begun by his Father. He tinkers with a mechanical man, called an automaton (a robot), trying to get it to work. The small mechanical parts of the automaton are like the parts in the clock…each piece fitting with the next piece to make the machine work correctly. Hugo’s life is like one of these mechanical pieces… he just doesn’t know where his piece fits with the next…until he meets a girl and a crotchety toy shop owner…then the pieces of his life begin to fit together. Author & Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Attempts are made against Nancy’s life when she accepts a case in Honolulu. She must decipher strange symbols written on a piece of paper in order to learn the mystery behind an estate inherited by her client.
From Chapter One:
Nancy Drew, her lovely blue eyes sparkling with excitement, stared in fascination from the cabin of a private helicopter. The craft was headed for the River Heights airport, a few miles beyond. Below, the rooftops of the town stood out clearly in the moonlight.
it was a really good book i love the nancy drew books so it was really just a really good book for me
Laura feels like she doesn’t belong, especially at school where the kids seem to be so uninterested in anything different…like Laura herself, her writer father, her sculptor mother or the falling down mansion they live in. They only thing the other kids ever want to know is if the big old house is haunted. It IS full of unused rooms and dusty furniture and an attic full of deteriorating junk, but if it’s haunted Laura doesn’t care, she loves the old house. Laura is a dreamer and artist. She loves imagining what might have gone on in the grand ballroom of the old house. When Laura meets her friend Leon’s grandmother she actually remembers the owner of the home:
He was an Italian gentleman. Some people said that he had been an ambassador or a consul and that he had raveled all over the world. Others said he was a professor. No one really knew. He lived in the big house on his own. (page 65)
Laura’s imagination goes into high gear as she dreams up reasons why a man would build such an elaborate house and then live in it for years all alone. When Laura discovers that Leon is also interested in the secrets of the house the two of them set out to find out Mr. Visconti’s story. A forgotten cellar, a locked box, old letters, a cemetery are only some of the clues that help the kids unravel the mystery of Mr. Carlo Visconti.
If you have ever dreamed about exploring an old house…opening drawers and peeking into boxes in the attic, The Visconti House is a perfect mystery for you. It’s also got a little bit of romance, both in the mysterious past of the house and in Laura’s present. Author: Elsbeth Edgar
If you liked reading about Laura and Leon and how they investigated the old house by looking for clues and talking to people, you might like these mysteries that feature kid detectives that know how to listen, sort through the possibilities and figure out mysteries from the past…mysteries that really should be unsolvable after so much time has passed.
Joey Fly, Private Eye, and his sidekick Sammy Stingtail are back solving another mystery in Bug City. This time they are hired by the tarantula Hairy Spyderson, owner of the Scarab Beetle Theatre. Hairy’s leading lady, Greta Divawing, is missing. No leading lady means no show and no show means no money. Hairy is desperate and says money is no object – he wants his lady back! Hairy hands Joey a downpayment for his detecting:
“It was a hefty wad of bread, the crusty European kind. With this kind of dough, I could leave a longer trail of bread crumbs than Hansel and Gretel.” (page 35)
Joey and Sammy head to the place Greta was least seen – the theater – to talk to all of the cast members who might have seen her before she turned up missing. Somebody has to know something, and Joey will find out what it is…unless Sammy talks to much, destroys clues, falls in love with a suspect, or whacks him in the head with his stinger.
“Mr. Zip had told no one, not one living soul,about his scheme. He had counted on survival.
That, as it turned out, was a mistake; death changed all the rules.” (page 4)
Mr. Zip dies after setting in motion an elaborate plan involving a box and something secret that is hidden in it. Because he’s dead, he isn’t there to see his plan carried out and can’t make an adjustment when pieces of his plan fall apart…like the box being stolen, hunted down, hidden, and then stolen again.
Zoomy and his Grandparents end up with the box. They open the box and it is Zoomy who decides that what is in the box is worth something, if only to him. But what’s in the box IS worth something and SOMEONE is still hunting for it. Things in boxes can be secrets and some secrets can be dangerous.
I loved how this mystery played out from beginning to end. I especially liked Zoomy’s Grandparents. They reminded me of Ob and May in Missing May. They have a simple wisdom about them that is so easy to like. I liked watching Zoomy and his Grandparent’s deal with Zoomy’s Dad, who is not making very Dad-like decisions.
The mystery solving reminded my of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. There are clues to unravel and the choices of other people to understand. The Danger Box is a couple kids who solve a mystery as a team and become more confident, interesting people because of their adventure together. Author: Blue Balliett