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The Invisible Boy Reader Reviews

The Invisible Boy

Rosie Watch

It is very well written and will really appeal to the adventure lovers but also those many children who do not enjoy descriptive or reflective stories.

Initially I thought this book was a good transition between a comic strip and a novel, but the more I read the more I realised there was so much more to it. I have to say it took me quite a few chapters to enjoy the style of the book and the cartoon pages, which I felt were rather a weak link, but once the story really got started it became less irritating as the storyline became more absorbing.

The developing and changing relationships between the three children was beautifully written and the introduction of such a serious theme as child trafficking was so sensitively approached.

It is very well written and will really appeal to the adventure lovers but also those many children who do not enjoy descriptive or reflective stories.

There are some really important messages here, true friendship and loyalty, seeing people for what they really are and having the courage of your convictions even when you are not being believed.

Sue Wilsher

The perfect choice for a reading group, ‘The Invisible Boy’ is an excellent read with a strong message.

Being an expert on the subject of superheroes, Nadia believes she has found one living on her street- the Invisible Boy. As a reporter-in-training, she is determined to get the scoop on the story and track him down whilst avoiding her arch-nemesis, Paddle Boy. However, things are not as they seemed and not only does Paddle Boy (aka Kenny) turn out to be not quite as bad as Nadia believed, there is something not quite right about Eli, the Invisible Boy.

Powerful and moving, this is essential reading. Alyssa Hollingsworth skilfully interweaves the story of a lonely girl with the horrific reality of human trafficking happening in the here and now. 

Nadia’s over-active imagination and love for comics and superheroes coupled with frequent moves with her military family mean that she has problems keeping friends and relating to others. Although determined to be a journalist and fancying herself a keen observer, Nadia fails to notice many clues about things around her. The moment she realises what is happening to Eli is so powerful, sending a message to us all:

All this time, he wasn’t invisible because of some superpower. He’s been invisible because I couldn’t -wouldn’t- see the truth.

Stories like this need to be told and I cried at several points- for Eli and all those in his situation. The book reminds us all of the need to look out for one another- to watch out for others and question things that don’t seem quite right. Nadia’s big heart and determination are a lesson to us all. 

The story also has moments of humour and the warmth of family love. Nadia’s attempts at match making for her aunt and the children’s kindness to their neighbour Mrs B are lovely moments. The story also challenges the reader to think about the folly of leaping to conclusions and making snap judgements about others- plenty to discuss. 

The perfect choice for a reading group, ‘The Invisible Boy’ is an excellent read with a strong message. 

Rodborough Readers

This story is so eye opening and deep with many twists and turns, an amazing book.

I really enjoyed reading The Invisible Boy. When I was only a few pages in I was already fully engrossed, you had hooked me! I could barely put the book down. It had so many twists and turns, it was almost like a mystery. I was constantly trying to figure out what could be wrong with Eli, but I was never expecting the twist they gave me.

Not only was this book exciting, but it made me feel empathy for the characters, as if I was one of their friends in the story with them! I really liked that Nadia was an inspiring reporter, because it added to the mystery/investigatory aspect of the story, as it was like she was writing down clues.

I also really loved that this story was so eye opening and deep when I wasn’t expecting it to be. It’s a book that both adults and tweens can enjoy as it has adult and tween themes in it, for example, slavery and superheroes. Not to mention that I love that the title can be interpreted in two ways, as talking about Eli’s superhero name or the fact that he is a slave that no one knows about or is there for, as if he is invisible. All in all, this book is amazing and I recommend it to anyone over 10. 

Charlotte Walker

A brilliant book with a serious and important message.

A brilliant book with a serious and important message, The Invisible Boy is on the surface a detective story that follows Nadia as she meets and gets to know Eli, a seemingly invisible boy who doesn't go to school. 

The characters in this book are brilliant, and Nadia is a shining Star, I also really enjoyed the comic strips at the end of each chapter as a summary and to inject even more emothion in to this book. I thought that the plotline is incredibly well written with an amazing level of sensitivity. 

I think that this is a powerful story for any reader 11 years old and older.

Victoria Kaplan

This is a story that gathers pace, with a reveal shockingly based on reality. Author, Hollingsworth, carefully weaves truth into accessible fiction, allowing young readers insight into a subject rarely discussed.

Set against the backdrop of Virginia, ‘The Invisible Boy’ is a story about friendship, communication and doing the right thing.

Nadia, a Lois Lane aspiring future journalist, finds herself unable to rescue her faithful dog, Wonder, from being swept towards a storm pipe. At the moment when she is about to lose Wonder forever, an unseen hero swoops in and rescues the dog from certain doom, leaving behind nothing more than mysterious photograph. This act of unsung heroism propels Nadia to try and discover who this ‘invisible boy’ is - there is clearly a ‘scoop’ to had here and Nadia is armed, reporter ready, with her notebook.

Many obstacles stand in the way of Nadia uncovering the truth: her nemesis ‘Paddle boy’; the elusiveness of invisibility; the dangers of assumptions and limitations of seeing the world in print block black and white. Ultimately, Nadia discovers that exposing the truth involves the determination to keep asking questions; courage to do what is right; assistance from the right people and the realisation that some actions have unintended consequences.

‘The Invisible Boy’ is a story that gathers pace, with a reveal shockingly based on reality. Author, Hollingsworth, carefully weaves truth into accessible fiction, allowing young readers insight into a subject rarely discussed.

@kaplanetymology

Victoria Kaplan

Friendship, teamwork, and the consequences of assumptions are relatable themes and would fit, cross curricular, into PSHE or could be related to school values.

First impressions: opening slow; main character, Nadia, unrelatable/immature; use of the comic strips questionable and the nickname of ‘Paddle Boy’ irksome. However, despite initially reaction, pace picks up, reader curiosity peaks and story feels fast paced and adventurous.

I did not know this book was about domestic slavery and am impressed the author presents this weighty topic in such an accessible way. Additional commentary by the author adds to impact and should not be missed.

Worth noting that towards the end there are some character decisions, which causes one of them direct physical harm and puts them all in danger. This should be questioned, and teacher/caregiver supported.

I would use this book as a class reader for the following reasons:
- Commencing pace and character focus lulls you into a false sense of story direction creating opportunity for prediction and revisitation.
- Nadia has many flaws, and experiences character growth. Opportunities for discussions on behaviour, choices, comparing characters.
- The DFE statutory guidance states that children should read books structured in different ways. At beginning of each chapter is a one-page comic strip. This also presents opportunity for discussion of representation/author choice.
- Friendship, teamwork, and the consequences of assumptions are relatable themes and would fit, cross curricular, into PSHE or could be related to school values.

@kaplanetymology

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848127999
Publication date: 17th September 2020
Author: Alyssa Hollingsworth
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads, Personal Social Health Economic
Other Categories: Julia Eccleshare's Picks, Reviewed by Children
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