The Invention of Hugo Cabret Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick is an adventure featuring an ingenious homeless orphan. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this novel.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a Cadecott Medal winning book for upper elementary to middle school students about a boy who is determined to restore an automaton in honor of his father, but finds magic and adventure along the way. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this book.

Part I, Chapters 1-6

In this section, there are questions related to the story elements and structure of the story, as well as an introduction to the conflict.

  • How does the author use illustrations to describe the setting and add context to this story? What impact does this style have on the reader?
  • Why does the old man check Hugo's pockets? How do you know? Do you agree with the old man's decision to search Hugo and take his notebook? Why? Why do you think the notebook is so important to Hugo?
  • How has Hugo's life changed since his father's death? Why do you think Hugo chooses to live in the train station? Why would the Station Inspector send Hugo to the orphanage? Do you think Hugo would be better off there? Explain your answer.
  • Why do you think the old man cries when he hands Hugo the ashes?

Part I, Chapters 7-12

This section contains questions that help students better understand Hugo's connection to his notebook.

  • What does Papa Georges want from Hugo? Should Hugo trust him? Why? What has Hugo done to earn Papa Georges' trust?
  • Is Etienne a positive or a negative influence on Isabelle and Hugo? Explain your answer.
  • What secrets are Isabelle and Hugo keeping from each other? What impact do secrets have on their relationship?
  • Why is Hugo interested in magic? What do you think of his treatment of Isabelle?
  • What might Hugo hope to learn from the automaton? How is Isabelle connected to the automaton?
  • Why do you think the author chooses to add a narrator at the end of Part I?

Part II, Chapters 1-6

In this section, there are questions about Isabelle and Hugo's discovery of Papa Georges secret?

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