Imaginative graphic novel for tweens about early filmmaking
Brian Selznick received the 2008 Caldecott award for this book, a picturebook award that usually goes to little kids' books. Finally the ALA recognized that powerful images are in books for older children, too. The book looks thick, but more than half of the pages are full-page illustrations. We read this book together and enjoyed the intrigue of the story and how we wanted to keep turning the page to see what happens next. Some of the story is tragic and sad. Kids may need the context of the difficulties of the 1930s. They will also be curious about real automatons and Georges Melies. Selznick includes website links and books to get more info on both. The story is really about the history of early films in France, but also about magic and magicians, the Depression, horology, mechanics, trains, libraries, and orphans. Fascinating! An imaginative 8-year-old may like it. 10 - 14 years old will definitely like it.