The Invention of Hugo Cabret - written and illustrated by Brian Selznick - is a historical-fiction novel. The author uses over half of the book's 533 pages for pictures, relying on both text and pictures to tell the story. On the official site Selznick describes the book as "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things."[1]


Hugo auto cover1
Selznick's primary inspiration for the book was the true story of filmmaker Georges Méliès. Elements from Méliès' films, as well as his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called automata were incorporated into the novel. Selznick's decision to add automatons to the storyline came after reading Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood, which recounts Thomas Edison's attempt to create a wind up doll that could speak.


  • Author: Brian Selznick
  • Cover artist: Brian Selznick
  • Illustrator: Brian Selznick
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Published: January 2007
  • Print type Hardback, Paperback
  • Pages: 526 (including 284 pages of illustrations)


  • Iowa Children's Choice Award - 2009-2010 (winner)
  • Caldecott Medal - 2008 (winner) -A rare honor since this award is for illustrations.
  • National Book Award: Young People's Literature - 2007 (finalist)
  • Junior Library Guide Selection


  1. Official Site

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