The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
I really loved this book; it was so different from anything I have ever read (including other graphic novels) and I completely enjoyed the experience of reading it. The book is quite thick, so upon first looking at it I was thinking “Oh boy, here we go.” I hate to admit it, but I expected I would end up skipping over most of the pictures. All of this changed when I started to read the book. The sequences of pictures telling a scene or part of the story were by far my favorite part of the book. Rather than skipping over them, I waited anxiously for when the next picture would come and carefully examined and appreciated each one. The pictures really did almost make it feel like I was watching a movie at the same time as I was reading the book. Unlike other graphic novels, these pictures were not set up in comic book form; each picture took up an entire two-page spread.
The detail in the pictures made them appealing to look at, and they did a fabulous job of telling or showing parts of the story. I did not feel that any of the pictures were unnecessary or distracting. Many of them were not just pictures of what the text was saying, but they actually moved the story forward. The text/plot in the book was very intriguing and made me want to keep reading, but it was definitely very simple. I enjoyed reading it for this reason though, and I am sure many middle school students would feel the same way.
As far as using this book in a classroom, I am not really sure where it would fit in. It is a homage to the real filmmaker Georges Méliès and silent films, which could be really cool to bring into a classroom somehow. I definitely want to at least have one copy in my library to be able to recommend to students. It provides such a unique experience of reading that I think some students would really, really enjoy. Also, many middle school students like to read mysteries, which this book is. Overall, a great book. Would recommend it to anyone!