The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an amazing story about a boy named Hugo who secretly lives in a train station in Paris, France by stealing food and water (or milk). He also steals toys from an old man's store to rebuild an automaton that might contain a message from his father. In the beginning of the book, the old man catches Hugo and takes away his notebook that has sketches of the automaton. They then work out a treaty, and Hugo agrees on working for the old man if he agrees on giving him back the notebook. The old man's goddaughter has decided to help Hugo get back the notebook, and she takes it from the old man. Then, Hugo steals a key that activates the automaton from her, and she gets furious. She then winds up the automaton, which has been finished by now, and it draws a scene from Hugo's father's favorite movie.
They freeze for a moment, and they watch it finish the drawing with the old man's signature! They go to his house, and Isabelle, living there, shows him around. That's when they start to explore the armoire. It contains artwork that reveals that the old man was a famous filmmaker. When the he sees the drawings, he gets sick, because he does not want to remember the past. Hugo begins to work and he raises enough money to buy some medicine. He also invites two filmmakers to Isabelle's house, and they both show the others a film the old man made. The old man tells them about his past, and he asks to see the automaton. On his way to his secret living area, he is caught stealing food, and is going to prison. The old man, however, covers for him, and Hugo becomes part of Isabelle's family. Six months later, he becomes a man and decides to host a party for the old man, remembering his films, the films that would not soon be forgotten. Boston Public Library's Online Catalog