The Invisible Boy
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Patrice Barton
Published October 8th, 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf
Goodreads Summary: Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.
When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.
Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading.
Review: Wow. This book affected me, so I know it would affect students. Although this is a book aimed at helping students think about how they affect others, there was one scene, early on, that shows Brian being ignored by everyone including his teacher which made me even sadder. It is so important for everyone, adults included, to think about how they treat or ignore others.
The other thing that I thought was brilliant was the way the illustrations were done. Brian comes to life actually right in front of our eyes. Such a smart way to visually show the moral of the story.
If you have not read this book yet, get it from your library or just go ahead and purchase it. You will not regret it.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book needs to be added to any kindness or empathy units out there right now. When I go back into the classroom, I will include it when I read Each Kindness, Because Amelia Smiled, and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (check out my post on how I use Each Kindness in my middle school classroom. Invisible Boy will fit perfectly.)
The author also includes recommended reading for adults and kids as well as wonderful Questions for Discussion in the back of the book.
Discussion Questions: (Found in the backmatter of the book) How many kids did it take in this story to help Brian begin to feel less invisible?; What specifically did Justin do to make Brian feel less invisible?; Are there kids in your class, grade, or school who you see being treated as if they are invisible? If yes, what could you do to make them feel more valued and appreciated?
Read This If You Loved: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea