I'm including this in graphic novels because that is probably the best description for this rather unique book. After all it's a novel consisting of many beautiful graphics and some written pages.
While The Invention of Hugo Cabret is aimed mainly at a younger audience of children it appears to be the kind of perfect novel for parents as well. I can imagine a modern parent trying to interest their child in reading by sitting down and reading this work with their child. It is in many ways a modern fairy tale story and therefore I imagine a great novel for a younger audience.
Even reading it now as an eighteen year old; while no longer the little trusting child who loved fairytales I still enjoyed the way Selznick constructed this volume. It was in my eyes a carefully put together piece of art. And even if I found it a little simple for my taste I still award it four stars because I appreciate the beauty of this book and moreover the fact that Selznick is creating artwork that children can enjoy. I know that if I had had this book as a seven year old I would have adored it.
On the whole my verdict is that Selznick has created an informative and artistic novel that allows children access to a visually inspiring idea. Perhaps it's not as great a novel for mature adults as other children's/YA's books but it's still a grand book all the same. So I would encourage you to read this while trying to think how you would have enjoyed it as a child and if you have children to read it to them. It's not a long book despite the 500 pages because most of those pages are taken up with large print words or pictures spread across two pages.
- Having just watched the movie I think it's one example where the movie does perfect justice to the book. The book's main strength is the artwork and the film takes that story and makes it a visual artwork Scorsese style!