The invisible boy

Trudy Ludwig

Book - 2013

Brian has always felt invisible at school, but when a new student, Justin, arrives, everything changes.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf c2013.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Awards
A Junior Library Guild selection
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781582464503
1582464502
9781582464510
1582464510
Main Author
Trudy Ludwig (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

For the first half of Ludwig's picture book, a lonesome-looking boy appears rendered in gray and white. Even the teacher has no time for "invisible" Brian, as she is busy dealing with the noisy children in her class. Brian, with his big glasses and toothy smile, gets his hopes dashed when he isn't picked for the kickball team. He finds solace in his drawings, where fire-breathing dragons scale tall buildings and superheroes have the power to make friends. When new student Justin arrives, Brian befriends him when the others don't, and they become buddies and even add a third boy to become a trio. Now visible in glorious color, Brian and his new friends present a project to their newly appreciative classmates. The joyful last pages show Brian with the children playing happily in real and imaginary activities. Brian's childlike drawings, done in ink and collage, are spot-on in representing the way children depict their imaginary world and their very real feelings. "Questions for Discussion" in the back matter provide guidelines for teachers and parents. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Can you see Brian, the invisible boy?" Ludwig (Better Than You) asks readers. Brian's classmates seem to see right through him when it comes to the lunchroom, playground, or birthday parties. Even Brian's teacher is too busy with the kids who "take up a lot of space." A new kid named Justin notices Brian's kindness and drawing talent, and he matter-of-factly changes the paradigm ("Mrs. Carlotti said we can have up to three people in our group," Justin tells a classmate who wants to exclude Brian). Gradually, Brian—whom Barton (I Like Old Clothes) has heretofore depicted in b&w pencil with sad, vulnerable eyes—becomes a smiling, full-color character. Ludwig and Barton understand classroom dynamics (Barton is especially good at portraying how children gauge the attitude of their peers and act accordingly) and wisely refrain from lecturing readers or turning Justin into Brian's savior. Instead, they portray Brian's situation as a matter of groupthink that can be rebooted through small steps. It's a smart strategy, one that can be leveraged through the book's excellent discussion guide. Ages 6–9. Illustrator's agent: Christina A. Tugeau, CATugeau. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—Brian feels invisible. His teacher hardly notices him, the other kids never invite him to play, and he eats lunch alone. But he loves to draw, so at recess, he creates comics about greedy pirates, battling space aliens, and superheroes with the power to make friends everywhere. One day, a new boy, Justin, joins the class. The other children make fun of him for eating Bulgogi, a Korean dish, but Brian slips him a friendly note. When it is time to find partners for a class project, Justin asks Brian to join him and another boy. Brian's artistic talents come in handy, and finally he is no longer invisible. This is a simple yet heartfelt story about a boy who has been excluded for no apparent reason but finds a way to cope and eventually gains acceptance. Barton's scribbly illustrations look like something Brian may have made. Pencil sketches painted digitally are set against lots of white space, and sometimes atop a background of Brian's drawings on lined notebook paper. At the start of this picture book, Brian is shown in shades of gray while the rest of the world is in color, a visual reminder of his isolation. Color starts to creep in as he is noticed by Justin. Once he becomes part of the group, he is revealed in full color. The thought-provoking story includes questions for discussion and suggested reading lists for adults and children in the back matter. Pair this highly recommended book with Jacqueline Woodson's Each Kindness (Penguin, 2012) for units on friendship or feelings.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT [Page 125]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

EMPATHY; PERSPECTIVE-TAKING Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Feeling invisible in a class of students who exclude him from groups, games and birthday parties, little Brian welcomes a class newcomer with whom he works on a school project in ways that help him to stand out. By the author of My Secret Bully.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A gentle story that teaches how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish, from esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton. A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend... Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class 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.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 a discussion guide and resources for further reading.