Mystery stories for kids: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended mystery stories for kids.  Melissa Y. of Sweet on Books explains why:

“What You Need to Know:

• This is an extraordinary story. It is told uniquely through illustration and text.
• The reader will move quickly through story, because of illustrations, even though it’s a hefty 544 pages.
• The protaganist, Hugo, is orphaned, living alone in a train station, after his guardian, an abusive uncle, dies. Might be too scary for a young reader.
• The story is a fast-paced mystery even the most reluctant readers will stay interested. Boys and girls will both enjoy it.
• This book is impressive looking. It is perfect for an older, struggling reader, as the illustrations would be a reprieve from too much text.
• Great book to read aloud with an older child.
• Great book to give as a gift.


The story is set in 1930’s Paris, where 12 year old Hugo is orphaned and living alone in a train station beneath the streets of Paris. His father has died and his abusive, guardian uncle has disappeared. The story chronicles Hugo’s struggle to survive, to understand his heritage and ultimately finding his new place in the world, with a new family. During Hugo’s struggle he must steal to survive and must unlock secrets left behind by his late father. To solve the mysteries, Hugo befriends a young girl and a seemingly bitter man from the train station. The mystery revolves around his late father’s work, figuring centrally around a defunct robot that his father designed, that Hugo is trying to reinvent.”

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