In a mix of drawings and text, this book makes Hugo’s world come alive. After a horrible accident befalls his clock maker father who is obsessed with fixing a mechanical man, Hugo is left with his uncle, who winds the clocks in the Paris train station. But, when his uncle disappears it is up to Hugo to run between the walls and wind the clocks. He also takes it upon himself to fix the mechanical man and finish his father’s work. Hugo knows that the mechanical man will have some sort of message for him if only he could get it to work. Until he gets caught stealing parts from the toy maker in the train station, he feels that he is getting closer to fixing it. In a strange turn of events Hugo, the toy maker, and the toy maker’s granddaughter come together to solve the mysteries the mechanical man reveals. Based on the life of George Méliès, an early film maker, this book is a fascinating meld of graphic novel, historical fiction, and movie-like flip book. This mending of forms brings the aspects of time and cinema in the story to life creating a vivid, exciting experience. I would highly recommend this 2000 Caldecott winner!
This book is recommended for ages 9 and up.
Reviewed by Jen