(Cute side story- in September I gave my students a survey about reading and asked them if they have ever gotten lost in a book. MORE than half of them said yes, and referenced how important a bookmark is...)
When I was in graduate school, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznickwas on the rise as a popular book for intermediate grades. The unique illustrations (all black and white, mimicking a silent film) and the general size of the book (about 4 inches thick) makes it turn heads on a bookshelf. It was a requirement for me to read during an adolescent/intermediate children's literature course. I fell in love. This is a story that you don't have to be a kid to love. Set in Paris, it's about a boy named Hugo who lives alone in a train station and is fascinated by an automaton robotic man and the man's connection to his father. It is laced with magic, mystery, suspense and heartbreak. As a bonus, it was made into a movie last year and was directed by Martin Scorsese. It also is based on a real person, Georges Melies, and his influence on the world of movies. Hugo became a household name for kids that saw the movie and enjoyed the thrill. As a true teacher and book lover, I still believe the books are always better than the movies, and this time, my kids agreed!
We started the book in the middle of September. Unsure of my students' reading levels and unable to get my hands on 14 copies, I opted to use it as a read-aloud during some of our glorious scheduling "glitches". We have 15 minute chunks of time that are just begging for a read-aloud. I was also unsure of how much my students would enjoy a read-aloud. I had this fear of 5th graders in September and was afraid they would throw tissues at me if I tried to sit them down and read to them in a group. I had a feeling that if I was going to get them to sit still for a read-aloud every day, it had to be a book that would leave them hanging on the edge of
Watch the trailer for Hugo here (we may or may not have watched it every day the week before our movie day)!
New York Times Review of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Scholastic Book Wizard- Hugo Cabret
Here are some links that my students loved exploring while we were reading:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret- Original Book Site
Scholastic's Hugo Cabret
*Has a lot of interactive games including mazes and a Build Your Own Automaton activity.
Here is a freebie for you to have your own movie day! It's blank so you can use it for any movie. Click on the ticket to download.