The Invention Of Hugo Cabret

hugocabret by Brian Selznick

Synopsis by

ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together…in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you


Part 1 Chapters 1,2: How clockworks work

The Tragic Train Wreck of 1895 in Paris, France


Author’s site About Hugo

Scholastic’s interactive site

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo movie

Maillardet’s Automation (videos)

Paris Paper Cuts

For Teachers

Library Lesson I.D.E.A.s (worksheets Gr. 3-7)

Eduscapes Library

Ed Helper Worksheets (must be member $)

Webquest by Teacher Materials

Bull Run


We are with sixteen different people as they head for the battle at Bull Run, the first major battle of the Civil War. Fleischman lets their many voices speak individually as they tell variously of their excitement, loathing, fear and hope about this battle which several of them are convinced will be the only one in the Civil War. For some of them, it is. They each get a short chapter in no particular order and are later given others, some more than others. The effect is of the humanity and horror of war. It’s a powerful statement.


Author Biography

Battle of Bull Run Overview

First Battle of Bull Run ( Eyewitness to History)

History Channel Video (2:08)

Teacher Resources:

Bull Run Literature Unit ($)

Voices of Bull Run Unit (My favorite)

1Bull Run (PDF unit free with great maps/ photos)

Ida B


Who is Ida B. Applewood? She is a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and her story will resonate long after you have put this book down. How does Ida B cope when outside forces—life, really—attempt to derail her and her family and her future? She enters her Black Period, and it is not pretty. But then, with the help of a patient teacher, a loyal cat and dog, her beloved apple trees, and parents who believe in the same things she does (even if they sometimes act as though they don’t), the resilience that is the very essence of Ida B triumph…and Ida B. Applewood takes the hand that is extended and starts to grow up. (sited from google books)


About the author

About Apple Trees

Al Capone Does My Shirts


The year is 1935 and Moose Flanagan’s father is desperate for a job. Consequently, he takes a job as an electrician and guard at the high-security prison on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. The family must live on the island and obey numerous strict rules. Moose is fascinated by the fact that famous criminals, such as Al Capone, are in cells just feet beyond where he is walking. But Moose, who is twelve, misses playing baseball with his friends, and he has difficulty adjusting to his new school. He must spend much of his free time taking care of his older sister, Natalie, who suffers from autism. Worst of all, the warden’s daughter, Piper, who is constantly scheming and cannot to be trusted.


About the book and author

Alcatraz History

Al Capone Museum