Let me submit this: I have, since my Boxcar Children
days, had a fascination with feral children. I think it is because I live vicariously through them: though I spend my days now in business clothes as a salaried professional, some part of me, like Huck Finn (a runaway with a feral soul), fears being civilized and finds an outlet in these children's stories.
Hugo Cabret is such: his mother long dead and his father killed tragically in a museum fire, Hugo is appretinced to his drunken uncle, the Timekeeper of the largest train station in Paris. Drunken uncle leaves the station one day and never comes back and Hugo is left in his uncle's garret in the train station to fix the clocks and forage for food and at night, work on the completion of his father's masterpiece: an automaton.
The automaton needs parts, though, which Hugo steals from a toy shop across from one of his clocks, until one day Papa Georges, the proprietor, catches him in the act and steals something back from Hugo, which he needs to fix the automaton.
This starts Hugo and Papa G's adventures in theft. Each is hiding a secret he must steal from the other to keep and each has their own demons that rob them of sleep every night.
The art work is wonderful as are the old film stills. This is an excellent adventure story for a child of about 8 to 10 (don't get worried about the length - it is mostly pictures), and highly recommended for children of that age group. The plot was written for them, which is why I give only three stars - this adult, though feral at heart, needed a little more action. The Hunger Games
The Boxcar Children
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
My Side of the Mountain
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Island of the Blue Dolphins
And, (Thanks, Kevin!):
The Stolen Child