Oh, what a difficult subject and how carefully Alyssa Hollingsworth approaches. The Invisible Boy makes the topic of human trafficking accessible to middle schoolers. Well written, once I picked it up I had to continue until I was done. I needed to know that everything would turn out okay for Eli.
What I am Reviewing
Roaring Brook Press has come out with a compelling read in The Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth. Deborah Lee illustrates in a comic book format. 320 pages. My ARC copy was trade paperback, you will find it on amazon as a hardcover with fly. (affiliate link)
A love of comic books brings ace girl reporter Nadia Quick into relationship with two very different individuals. They each get their own superhero names. As the book progresses we learn a hard truth about Eli and his life. Once this hard truth is realized events proceed very quickly. Human trafficking and child abuse are not easy topics to cover. Hollingsworth pulls it off giving middle school students information that just might save a life.
I am reviewing The Invisible Boy on behalf of Raincoast Books.
The Details for The Invisible Boy
23 chapers, 320 pages, Epilogue and author’s note. EVERY page is worth reading, every comic strip worth perusing. Nadia has a case to pursue and through that a story to tell. Will it be the right one?
Each chapter opens with a one page comic, the story leading from one chapter to the next. Pay attention to them, they will either give clues for what is to come, or hint at what has passed. I didn’t see fully developed comics for each chapter in this ARC copy, many were just mock-ups. As such I can’t tell you if the comic strip is complete, but I was intrigued.
Easy to read text, with clear sensitivity to the subject at hand. The characters are very real. I could clearly see Nadia with her quirkiness would result in few friendships, that Paddle Boy would be a bit taken aback by his quirky neighbour, and the fear in Invisible Boy. The parents made mistakes and owned up to them.
Make sure you read the epilogue and author’s note. They give important information that rounds out the story.
The Invisible Boy is a great book. I enjoyed reading it and felt a strong desire to finish it once I started it. It teaches about a difficult subject and what middle schoolers can do to help break the cycle.
For sensitive readers, you might want to read the book with them. The close of the book has some intense sections that could bother some readers.
It’s worth reading just for the story. It is good enough to be a useful addition to a study on