24 Following

Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick The story was fairly predictable for me (although it would be less so to the targeted age group) and without the illustrations, I wouldn't have been as engaged. I love old films, old toys, and old technology, so I found the historically accurate drawings fascinating. The more detailed drawings are sort of an I-Spy for enthusiasts who enjoy Jules Verne or Steam Punk. And I enjoy the films of Georges Melies, so that was an added bonus.

The book takes place in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Paris, when many technologies were coming together: photography, flight, movies, robotics. I would recommend this book highly for middle-school kids as I think it's engaging and would encourage kids who think they don't like to read. Both main characters (a boy and a girl) are smart and brave. Also, there is much information in the book that can be used as a jumping-off point for other topics, from robotics to trains to early film to French history.