By Laura Ennis, BK Story Voyager Librarian
The Invisible Boy
Written by Trudy Ludwig
Illustrations by Patrice Barton
(For readers in grades 1–4)
Meet Brian. His teacher ignores him, his classmates would rather play with others, and he’s a bit too quiet. He’s excluded from kickball via the explanation that there are enough players on the teams. Brian listens as Madison talks about her birthday party: he wasn’t invited. In his solitary state, Brian does what he does best — he draws awesome fire breathing dragons! When a new student, Justin, arrives on the scene things begin to change for our protagonist. Read “The Invisible Boy” and discover how Brian begins to feel less invisible!
Trudy Ludwig makes Brian’s feelings of invisibility relatable without making him a victim. “The Invisible Boy” showcases common insecurities that children experience in elementary school. Readers learn the value of empathy and friendship.
Patrice Barton’s illustrations thoughtfully and playfully mirror Brian’s status. At the beginning of the story, Brian is drawn in shades of white and gray, while the rest of the students are in color. Barton’s use of color heightens Brian’s loneliness. Once Justin sees Brian for the awesome artist that he is, the spectrum of Brian starts to change.
Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking to help quieter children will find a friend in Brian. “The Invisible Boy” is also an instructive resource to encourage students to reach out and include their quieter peers. They can be upstanders instead of bystanders!