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Best Books to Read after The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Updated on March 5, 2013

You've read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Now what?

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an amazing read, and the movie Hugo is just as wonderful. But what do you do when you're finished with it? If you loved the book as much as my daughter and I did, you'll want to try to find some similar books to Hugo to read.

One of the most amazing parts of the book is the intertwining of illustrations and text. The story wouldn't be as complete if it were only in the written word, so I've pulled together a list of books like The Invention of Hugo Cabret that have both text and illustrations, or are similar in another way.

Hugo -- The Movie


First, if you haven't seen the movie, you should definitely check it out. It is Scorcese's love letter to the movies. With seasoned actors like Ben Kinglsey and Jude Law as well as relative newcomers, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz (as the two main characters, both children), this is a movie not to be missed.


Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick

The first book to pick up should be Wonderstruck, also by Brian Selznick. This is his newest book, and my daughter read it in about 4 days. It's over 400 pages, and she's never read anything that fast. There are two stories that ultimately connect -- one, about a boy, is written with words and the other, about a girl who lived 50 years before, is shown through illustrations. The book was listed as one of Amazon's Top Middle School Books in 2011.

From the glowing review:

In the first of two alternating stories, Ben is struck deaf moments after discovering a clue to his father's identity, but undaunted, he follows the clue's trail to the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. Flash to Rose's story, told simultaneously through pictures, who has also followed the trail of a loved one to the museum--only 50 years before Ben.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has the most haunting black and white vintage photos of children you can imagine. I also included this book on my list of Six Books to Read After The Hunger Games, but it's appropriate here as well. In the vein of Lemony Snicket, this book tells the story of Jacob, who yearns to be extraordinary. When his grandfather dies, Jacob travels to his childhood home on an island off of Wales. He finds that the children there are, indeed, peculiar, and they might, in fact, really be hiding from monsters. More fantasy than scary, this is a fantastic book to read after Hugo.

Liesl and Po - Lauren Oliver

Liesl and Po is a magical book about a girl, Liesl, who is trying to bury her father's ashes. Unfortunately, the town alchemist's apprentice Will has mistakenly exchanged those ashes for a box of strong magic. Will and Liesl are equally alone -- Liesl because she has been locked in the attic by her stepmother, and Will because he wanders the streets alone. Po is a ghost from Other Side who tries to help Liesl in her quest to lay her father to rest by her mother. Their three lives collide together as though they are in a fairy tale. With beautiful illustrations, this book is a great read after Hugo Cabret.

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente

The illustrations in The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of her Own Making are mostly at the beginning of chapters, but they are beautiful nonetheless, crafted by the artist Ana Juan. This book was also selected as Amazon's Best Middle School Books of the Year for 2011. Amazon readers compare the book to Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, and pretty much everything by Roald Dahl.

The girl, September, is living a normal life in Omaha Nebraska during World War II when the Green Wind stops by to pluck her into a fairy tale. She must procure a talisman from the enigmatic and capricious Marquess. She picks the road that will cause her to lose her heart, which she thinks is better than losing her mind, her way, or her life. Her adventures continue with a character called A-through-L, who is the child of a Wyvern and a library. Really, the existence of a character called A-through-L should tell you all you need to know about what kind of book it's going to be.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick - Chris Van Allsburg

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick is an interesting book because the illustrator is the famous Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji), and the stories are all by different authors. The "guest" authors include Stephen King, Tabitha King (his wife), Lois Lowry, Kate Demillo, and Gregory Macguire, among many others. Lemony Snicket wrote the introduction. This is a follow-up to Van Allsburg's Mysteries of Harris Burdick, published in 1984, which was mostly illustrative. Now, in this new book, the illustrations are an important parallel to the stories, but the stories definitely are the focus.

Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld

Depending on what you loved about Hugo, Leviathan could be right up your alley, or possibly not. If you love the co-mingling of text and illustrations, this book probably isn't going to be for you. But if what you loved is the incredible steampunk imagery, take a look and see. While most of the books I've mentioned above are recommended for children in grades 4 and up, Leviathan is much more advanced and is advised for no younger than 7th grade.

Read this glowing review from SciFi Chick on Amazon:

In this latest young adult novel from Scott Westerfeld, he has created an alternate history in a steampunk version of World War I. It's a fantastic world of elaborate machines and bizarre, unnatural animals. In addition to the unique world and fascinating story, the characters are just as absorbing and are the driving force behind the story.

What book did you read after The Invention of Hugo Cabret?

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      6 years ago

      Nice selections - I've yet to read the book myself, but now I know where to go from there!


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