Persuasive Essay 2013 Winner

Tiana Goudreault
Grade 5
Kaneohe Elementary

Hugo was just a poor twelve-year-old boy who lived alone within the train station’s walls. After he snagged the heart-shaped key necklace from Isabelle, his friend, Hugo’s footsteps echoed off the crumbling ancient walls of the station. He went from a jog to a sprint, like a car steadily accelerating. His heart was going a million miles per second, and his hand was on fire, for he had been clutching Isabelle’s necklace the whole way. In his room, Hugo inserted the key into the automaton’s back, which slipped in with ease. He watched with curiosity as the automaton's gears interlocked. The mechanical man began to draw a scene Hugo could clearly remember from his father’s words. How could he forget? The scene was from his father’s favorite movie, A Trip to the Moon. Then Hugo nearly fainted as the miniature man dipped his pen in the ink a second time. The pen swiftly danced its way across the paper and signed Georges Méliès. This scene was my personal favorite from The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The figurative language, foreshadowing, and climax bind this book into a mystery that will get your adrenaline going so fast, you will feel like you just took a hike.

I especially admire how the author wrote the simile about Hugo’s hand with such cleverness: “Since leaving the toy booth moments ago, Hugo’s left hand had been clenched into a tight fist, which now slowly opened like a flower.” I think this simile is brilliant in how it compares Hugo’s hand to a blooming flower. As I whispered the sentence to myself with each word slowly rolling over my tongue, my admiration grew. It felt like I was watching a mini movie in my mind, just like how Brian Selznick’s black and white creations in the book made me feel.

To me, this scene was the climax. I couldn’t put the book down! “In the middle of the mechanical man’s back was a heart-shaped hole outlined in silver.” This line made me stop cold. It felt as if everything around me was moving at a snail’s pace. I had a flashback and remembered Hugo eyeing and questioning Isabelle about her necklace. He noticed it when she toppled to the floor. The author also zoomed in on the key in the illustrations to show that the key was something very meaningful.

There was also foreshadowing in this scene when the automaton signed Georges Méliès. It made me think: What’s going to happen next? I speculated that the rest of the story was going to be about Georges Méliès and knew there was a lot more to go.

The Invention Of Hugo Cabret will put you into a reading trance. This 2012 Nene Award winner will lead you on a life-changing journey about a boy named Hugo and his corroded, aged automaton. You will be surprised how this one mechanism leads Hugo on an everlasting adventure.