June 6

‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ by Brian Selznick

Hugo_Cabret     Meet Hugo, a kind souled young homeless boy, living inside the walls of a Paris city train station. No parents. No grandparents. Just him. Until one day, everything changes…

     Does this book feel like the book you would want to read? Then of course this is the book for you!

     Things are quite unusual in the city of Paris, especially inside the walls of the Paris city train station. A young French lad named Hugo Cabret lives inside these walls keeping all the clocks running in the train station. But nobody knows that… There are some foul things that live inside the train station: the station inspector and the creepy old man who owns a toy store across from where Hugo’s favorite clock is, linger in the shadows of the train station after dark.

     The main characters in the story are Hugo Cabret, Isabelle Meilies and Papa Georges Meilies.

     I really enjoyed the book, ‘The invention of Hugo Cabret’ because it is a story about a young mysterious boy who has recently lost his father in a museum fire in the city of Paris. After that happened, he knew his life would never be the same again.

     I was glued to this book from start to finish by the way that Brain Selznick described the characters and by how he made it look like we could interact with them throughout the book. The descriptive language used in this book made it easy to understand and visualize all the scenes in my imagination as though I was there. The story continued fantastically with enough mystery and wonder to always keep my full attention. The ending of the book ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ was very mystifying because of the way everything turned around for Hugo and it has made me want to read the rest of the Brian Selznick collection.

     I recommend this book to people aged 12-20 and in between because if you are really into mystery and wonder with a full on twist at the end, then this book is the book for you. I’d rate this book ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ a 4.5 out of 5.

Phoebe G., Year 8


Meet Hugo Cabret, a small orphan boy living in a Paris train station. He steals to stay alive and turns the clocks so no one gets suspicious. Isabelle Méliès is an eccentric bookworm who may be Hugo’s only hope.


When Hugo’s father dies in a freak museum fire, he is sent to live with his Uncle, the clock turner for a busy Paris train station. Until one day, he disappears. Hugo has to continue turning clocks to avoid the suspicion of the station inspector and the people who walk through the train station daily. Hugo’s father leaves him with nothing; nothing except a mysterious broken mechanical man that his father was working on before he died, a mechanical man that Hugo is determined to fix. But he can’t do it alone. He needs help from Isabelle if he wants to unravel the mystery of the mechanical man.


I really enjoyed this book because it was very mysterious and intriguing. It had a very interesting storyline that made me never want to put the book down. The way that it was written was really good; I liked that there were lots of pictures in the book because it helped me picture the characters and the scene easier. I give this book a 4 out of 5 because although it was really interesting, it got frustrating with the amount of pictures it had, but the pictures were drawn with lots of detail and they looked amazing.


I recommend this book for people between the ages of 11-20 but it should be enjoyable for everyone. People that enjoy mystery books will really enjoy this story because it’s full of mysteries!

Victoria C, Year 8.


     Do you want to have a mystical adventure with good characters and a plot that will keep you guessing until the end? Well, Hugo is a great book with great characters and a story that will pull you right to the end. The plot starts off pretty slow but I thought it was great pacing for book like this.

      There is a boy in the train station named Hugo and he always carries a little book around. But an old man from a toy store steals his book for a mysterious reason. Hugo must now find his book and solve the mystery of his father’s work.

      The book has a very unique style as it is filled with pictures. The words fill in the detail of the pictures. It’s quite unique and something I haven’t really seen done by a big name author. The characters are extremely interesting with their own personality and style to them. It is impossible first time reading to predict what will happen in the end, the plot is just so unique and interesting.

     The sub genre the book has is wonder and mystery with some elements of steam punk. It is about the experience and the adventure.

    This book is so good that when I finished reading I just read it all over again.

    There are some problems with the book though, the characters, with the unique personalities that they have, they can sometimes be a bit dull, especially Hugo himself. Hugo was a well executed character. He had a lot of style and personality to him and had a bit of mystery to him, but in the second half of the book he can be especially dull as a character. Same goes with the other characters. They have some dull moments.

     The styling of the book can be a bit too dark at times, even to the point of not being able to see anything but the characters’ faces. I think this was intentional or maybe just bad art direction. There are some very lengthy exposition in the middle of the book, and we are given way too much information about Hugo’s life; more than we really needed to have. For me, this ruins the mystery about Hugo. The author was trying way too hard to make us connect with Hugo but really it was OK not to give too much detail about him, making Hugo a likeable character we could relate to.

     I also thought they could have explored a little bit more of the world, as the majority of the story takes place in the train station or the streets. I felt like that this was a missed opportunity, because the world was so intriguing I wanted to explore more of it… a bit of a missed opportunity.

 The plot can start a bit slow and because of the slow pacing of the plot I think this book is not best suited for everyone. This really is not a problem but there are some parts of the book that are deliberately left to be a mystery. I wish there were more parts that focused on the mystery, after all that’s what the book achieves so well. Again a bit of wasted potential.

     Despite my problems of the book, overall it was a great book with a great plot. I recommend this book to anyone who is patient enough and enjoys being mystified. The recommended age group is 14 and up. I rate it 9/10.

Jack H. Year 8


May 2

‘Missing You, Love Sara’ by Jackie French

Missing You, Love Sara is a book written by the award winning author, Jackie French. It is a book with an intriguing blurb and uninteresting storyline that never reaches any great heights.

Have you ever had someone from your family go missing? Do you know what it feels like to have someone in your family go missing? If it ever happens to you I bet you won’t expect it. Neither does Sara.

It all starts in a country town in a country school when Sara’s big sister, Reenie doesn’t ring home and goes missing. Everyone is worrying including Sara and her family. They are trying desperately to find her. The police say they are doing all they can to find her but are they really?

When you read the blurb it will get you intrigued, like me. DON’T be fooled. This is not a book for people who are into fast-paced action reading. It is slow and the story never moves on to a new series of events. If you don’t like slow moving stories about relationships, you will not find this very interesting at all!!

I rate this book 2 out of 5.

Grace, Year 8


Missing You Love Sara is a book about a teenage girl, Sara, whose older sister, Reenie, disappears. No one knew how, but the same questions keep on haunting Sara; was she kidnapped, did she commit suicide or is her body just lying somewhere waiting to be found?

Sara starts writing diary entries to Reenie asking her why she disappeared, how she disappeared and explaining how she feels because of all of this, why she thinks the police aren’t doing anything helpful and who or what would kidnap Reenie.

This is a good book, that I recommend for ages 12 and up, as it does have truth in it about people disappearing. If you are not a big reader I suggest that you don’t read this book, as it does take a while to get into. Overall I give this book a 3/5.

Makayla, Year 8

February 15

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Brian Selznick has written two awesome books which combine pictures and words to tell the story. Here’s a clip from the movie of ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’, made from the book by the same name. Both ‘…Hugo Cabret’ and ‘Wonderstruck’ are available in the Aquinas College Library. Read more about these books on one of Brian Selznick’s websites:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstruck.

Hugo is a troublesome boy who steals, works by fixing clocks and quits school all from a young age. Hugo’s father was working on a machine called the automaton when he was little. His father was killed in a freak fire accident when he was locked inside a museum whilst fixing the automaton after closing time. Hugo was then sent off to live with his uncle at the Paris train station. He then had to leave school and begin to work as a time keeper for the clocks. He was still very passionate about the autonom and wanted to finish his father’s dream, so he attempted to fix it when he wasn’t working. However, an obstacle occurred when he required a key to make the machine function. He stumbled across a girl named Isabelle and found that she wore a heart shaped key that fitted the automaton’s lock.

I would defiantly recommend this book for anyone that likes adventure and mystery. Hugo is a very loveable character and it is easy to understand  and feel sympathetic for him and his story. The story is very interesting and can surprise even the more older audiences. I would give this book a 9 out of 10.

John J., Year 8


The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a story based on a young boy who lives in Paris who finds a mysterious drawing that changes his life forever. Hugo’s uncle is in charge of the station’s clocks; soon after his uncle disappears Hugo takes over maintaining the clocks, hoping his uncle won’t be missed so that he can repair an artefact cherished by Hugo and his father. This artefact is what changes Hugo’s life.

An automaton is discovered among the dusty museum that was burnt down by a fire. It is a mechanical man that delivers messages. Hugo is certain that he can fix the automaton with his father’s notebook full of mysterious things. By doing this, Hugo decided to steal toys from the toy booth until he gets caught by the shopkeeper and soon finds himself working there. He finds a notebook that has many oddly familiar drawings, magic, unlikely friends and a giant cinema.

I really enjoy this book because it is a very mysterious book and it contains a lot of unknown drawings. You can learn a lot of things by this book by not stealing from other people because there will be consequences in future.

I would recommend it to both males and females, ages mostly 13+ to read, as they would understand it more. It may seem like a large book but it is worth reading. It is a mysterious book full of magic and unknown drawings.
By Monet J, Year 8.


The Invention of HUGO CABRET

 “From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything. He rubbed his fingers nervously against the small notebook in his pocket and told himself to be patient. The old man in the toy booth was arguing with the girl. She was about Hugo’s age, and he often saw her go into the booth with a book under her arm and disappear behind the counter. “

Orphan, Clock Keeper, And Thief!!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (author Brian Selznick) is a awesome book. Personally it’s one of the best books I’ve read. This book is more suited for the ages 13 and up and it’s a pretty easy read that opens up your imagination. The book is set in Paris in a local train station. Hugo lives in the walls of this station and his only way to survive is by secret and stealing, but when Hugo’s world gets turned up side down and his life and most prized possession are all put in jeopardy, together he and his new best friend Isabelle work with each other to solve a mystery about Hugo’s father and Isabelle’s Godfather (the toy booth man).

If I had to put this book into a certain category, it would be mystery (or wonder). This book makes you want to read it. It pulls you in and keeps you stuck there. If you have read “Wonderstruck” (also written by Brian Selznick) you are sure to like this book. The book is filled with amazing drawings, but don’t be fooled by the amount of them because this is not a picture book. Without reading the writing there is no adventure and with no adventure there is no dream and amazing dreams come out of this book.

Grace, Year 8