Reader Reviewed She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
  

She is Not Invisible

Written by Marcus Sedgwick

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Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Book Award 2014 When sixteen-year-old Laureth’s father vanishes she is determined to track him down. So determined that she flies to New York to find him. But Laureth doesn’t go alone; she takes her seven year old brother with her because she needs him. Laureth is blind and Benjamin is essential as her guide. Award-winning Marcus Sedgwick tells a pell-mell adventure as the children unravel the mysteries of obsession and coincidence as they solve the riddle behind their father’s disappearance.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for She Is Not Invisible a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'There are some young adult books that stand out and demand to be read, not only by teens but by adults alike, and this is one of them.'

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Synopsis

She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Laureth Peak's father is a writer. For years he's been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he's obsessed, Laureth thinks he's on the verge of a breakdown. He's supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother's credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16 year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

Also available as an audio book, read from braille by Anna Cannings.

Reviews

A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review She Is Not Invisible. Read their reviews below.

Jenny Duffy, age 20 - 'While the reader is made very aware of her blindness and how it affects her life, the lasting impression of Laureth is that she is courageous, resourceful and active.' Click Here to read the full review.

Safiyah Afghan - 'Addictive and intriguing, She is Not Invisible is perfect for all readers, especially those who are looking for something a bit different.' Click Here to read the full review.

Sam Harper - 'The mystery comes together piece by piece until you can finally see the whole picture at the very end. This is an ingenious and very cleverly written story. Fantastic!' Click Here to read the full review.

Jade Craddock - 'There are some young adult books that stand out and demand to be read, not only by teens but by adults alike, and this is one of them.' Click Here to read the full review.

James Newbery - 'If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "Coincidence." This is thought provoking, writing from an interesting viewpoint, and one of the best books I have read for a while.' Click Here to read the full review.

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What this book proves, is that Marcus is not only one of the greatest British YA writers, but one of the most versatile too. Unlike anything he has written before and a book that will reach a whole new audience. Bloomin loved it. Phil Earle, author of Heroic, Being Billy and Saving Daisy

I was thoroughly captivated by this smart and intriguing contemporary thriller with heart
. -- Fiona Noble THE BOOKSELLER

She is Not Invisible is an exciting, thought-provoking story - a Scarlett Thomas or A. L. Kennedy for teenagers. -- Anna A CASE FOR BOOKS

There's another uncompromising aspect to this superb book. Marcus Sedgwick doesn't speak down to his teen readers. He tells it how it is, without footnotes or gloss, and it's up to the reader to decide how much they want to take from his books. A rollicking good adventure? No problem - that's there and easily available. Just let your eyes slide across the bits in italics and jump to the next event. It would be a shame to do that, though, because for those prepared to deal with it, there's much, much more in this book: theories and philosophies and ideas which stretch the reader and give the adventure far greater depth and resonance. Not many novels, for adults or younger folk, contain whole pages of notes on people such as Einstein, Jung and Koestler, but this one does, because it shows what Jack Peak believes on the nature of coincidence, and it is by understanding that that Laureth and Benjamin (with the help of Stan the stuffed raven) resolve the crisis. THE BOOKBAG

Marcus Sedgwick has written a story which really makes you think. He has referred to it as an iceberg and certainly the story can be read on two levels; on the surface a simple story of a girl, Laureth, accompanied by her young brother, Ben and his beloved soft toy, Stan, determined to find their missing father, in spite of Laureth's personal circumstances making this no easy task and, below the surface, a much more complicated story, concerning the nature of obsession and coincidence; all of which leaves you pondering and re-reading. Familial relationships are at the heart of this story and how these can engender love, confidence and faith. Laureth is awe inspiring and loveable. Her personal journey is totally absorbing. -- Gill Perry at Exeter High Street WATERSTONES.COM

This is a book about coincidences, unconditional love and bravery. It is also about going with a gut feeling against the odds and the chance that just perhaps it will all come right in the end. Stannous and Ben are, perhaps, my favourite characters, often positive when life gets tough and understanding what it means to be needed. The story revolves around Laureth's father, a search across New York for a character who is missing and the mutual support between two siblings. This is an extraordinary tale, with brilliant descriptive passages. You can almost hear and smell New York. I was relieved that Stannous made it home... -- Sue Chambers at Finchley Road WATERSTONES.COM

Sedgwick's prose is as crisp and clear as always, without losing a single fathom of emotional depth, and Laureth and Benjamin will resonate soundly with anyone who has ever negotiated the ups and downs of sibling relationships. -- Rebecca Davies THE INDEPENDENT: CHILDREN'S BOOKS BLOG

Despite being 'about a blind girl, this is not a book about being blind. It doesn't seek to induce pity and nor does it resort to awarding its protagonist superhuman powers. Yet along the way it succeeds in very cleverly and subtly telling the reader a huge amount about being visually impaired. BOOKTRUST

About the Author

Marcus Sedgwick

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections.

Marcus began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Kiss of Death was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big one - a project I've been working on for so long my head hurts.” – Blood Red Snow White, which was first published to considerable acclaim in 2007.

2009 saw Marcus turn his attention to books for younger readers with the launch of a humorous new series: The Raven Mysteries, narrated by a grumpy raven, Edgar. Titles are Flood and Fang, Ghosts and Gadgets and Lunatics and Luck. The sixth book in the series, Creepy Caves, will be published in paperback in February 2015.

Marcus Sedgwick won the Branford Boase Award in 2001 with his debut novel, FLOODLAND. In 2007 MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING won the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and in 2011 LUNATICS AND LUCK won a Blue Peter Book Award. Marcus has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal six times. Marcus lives in Taninges, France.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! Finally Marcus is also a drummer, and at the moment he plays in two bands: visit www.garrett-music.tv, and www.internationalbandofmystery.com to find out more.

Q&A with Marcus Sedgwick

Many of your novels are inspired by history and by myth and legend - have these areas always been a fascination of yours since childhood and if so how did this passion come about?

I love music, both listening to it and playing it (I'm a drummer). A day without music is not a proper day... I also love travel and try to travel as much as I can manage.

It was a single line, the first line in the book in fact. I'd had it for ages but didn't know where I was going to use it until the character of Edgar came along: "I suspect I may have fleas again".

Absolutely, and it was great fun. After writing a few hardcore goth books, it was great to let my hair down with these stories. And it gave me fresh impetus to go back to the next YA novel, Revolver, with renewed determination to be gloomy!

I write at the weekends, and mostly in the study in my loft, but also sometimes I travel to write - eg much of Revolver was written on trips to Sweden.

I started to write as a teenager a bit, but properly when I was in my mid-twenties. It took a few years to think it might actually happen!

The most important thing is to know your market! Who do you think your book is going to be read by? What else is out there that's like it? Are you writing something that will sell?

It varies from book to book but it's not a chore as I love to do research. It's easier than actually writing the things! For Revolver, the research spanned about 16 months, of little trips here and there and lots and lots of reading!

What was your inspiration for Revolver ?

Finding an empty shell casing on the pavement in St Petersburg. It was a long way from there to the finished book but that was the start of it.

What was your favourite book as a teenager?

Without question, the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

If you got into Doctor Who’s tardis, where (or when) would you go?
Great question, impossible to answer. So many amazing things to go and see – the building of the pyramids, a Viking boat putting out to sea, Man Utd winning the European Championship in 1968…

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day?

Matt Bellamy on any day with a gig.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do?

I’m invisible most days, so nothing much would change.

1 - I have an embarrassing middle name, but I'm not going to tell you what it is
2 - I am learning Swedish
3 - As well as playing the drums, I play bass guitar
4 - My grandfather invented the hydraulic tipper truck
5 - I have a pet raven called Edgar, though he doesn’t say much, eat much, or indeed, move much. There’s a possibility that he’s stuffed, I guess.
6 - I’m extraordinarily sleepy right now.
7 - I represented England (Juniors) at Fencing.
8 - I totally love football.
9 - I'm allergic to red peppers
10 - I believe there is only one radio or TV station worth listening to: Radio 3.

Author photo © Kate Christer

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
384 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Marcus Sedgwick
More books by Marcus Sedgwick

Author's Website

www.marcussedgwick.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Indigo (an Imprint of Orion Children's) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

3rd July 2014

ISBN

9781780621340

Categories


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