The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Invisible Boy 9781582464503_p0_v1_s260x420The Invisible Boy

Trudy Ludwig, Author

Patrice Barton, Illustrator

Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House for Kids, Fiction, Oct. 8, 2013

Suitable for Ages: 6-9

Themes: Feeling invisible and left out, Popularity, Friendship, School

Opening: “Can you see Brian, the invisible boy?  Even Mrs. Carlotti has trouble noticing him in her classroom.  She’s too busy dealing with Nathan and Sophie.”

Synopsis:  Brian feels invisible to his teacher and friends at school.  He is with them, but  not really.  At lunch he eats alone.  At recess the other kids don’t pick him to play on their kick-ball team.  During class when the other children play board games and read, Brian draws dragons, pirates, space aliens and super heroes.   When Mrs. Carlotti introduces Justin, a new student to the class, the other kids poke fun at his Korean lunch.  Brian draws Justin a special picture to make him feel better.  Justin invites Brian to work with him on a school project.  Brian’s artwork shows his unique talent and the students notice.

What I like about this story:  What child has not felt invisible at some time in school.  Trudy Ludwig masterfully tells a heartfelt story about a boy who wants to belong, but is ignored by others.  Even his teacher doesn’t pay a lot of attention to Brian because she has to deal with other high-maintenance children in the classroom.  Brian is kind-hearted and finds his own way to make a friend and gain the acceptance of the other students.  Ludwig’s book is an excellent resource for any parent or teacher looking for material that addresses shy and quiet students.  It is isn’t preachy and Brian solves his own problem.  Patrice Barton’s artwork is creative and perfect for the book.  The cover is in muted pastels which sets the tone for the story.  In the beginning pages, Brian is a black and white sketch, while the classroom is shown in full color.  When Justin befriends Brian, a little color begins to appear.  As Brian asserts himself in the class project he is revealed in full color.  This a great collaborative effort between Ludwig and Barton.

Resources:  Ludwig has included a backpage of questions for classroom discussion and suggested reading lists for adults and children.  I received a poster with an educator’s guide, activities and questions for group discussions and goal-setting.  Ludwig is a nationally known author whose work focuses on helping children cope with and thrive in the social world.   She is an active member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and a sought-after-speaker.  Visit Trudy Ludwig at her website.  Random House has created a free Bullying Discussion Guide for teachers and librarians to use with Ludwig’s books.  It includes ready-made lesson plans and activities that follow the common core state standards.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

31 thoughts on “The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

  1. This is a creative book to deal with being left out. I love that the author mainly deals with bullying, what a wonderful example to us all.

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    • It’s a book that empowers children. Many kids and adults will see themselves in this story. I like that you worked at making friends. I wasn’t shy as a young child, only when I reached about 6th grade and the “mean girl” began to form. I felt like a wall flower.

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  2. Your review is thorough like usual and much appreciated. I will remember this book when my grandson comes to visit because he says he is bullied by older kids in school. I am familiar with Random House’s bully ing page and web site from some books I reviewed a long time ago about it. This is a good refresher.

    thanks as always for introducing another valuable book to add to Susanna’s collection. 🙂

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    • Trudy has written many bullying books. I’ve reviewed many of them: My Secret Bully, Trouble Talk and Confessions of a Former Bully, Better Than You, Just Kidding and Sorry. She is such a champion for helping students, parents, teachers and schools, to find methods for dealing with bullying.

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  3. What a great book!! I watch this happening in classrooms all the time. I notice those kids who are kind of wallflowers. I usually seek them out and make friends. Some of my best buddies are those quiet shy ones. I like the way you say the illustrations are done. I’ll be looking for this one for sure!

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  4. Pingback: THE EARTH SHIFTER Excerpt: Tantalizing Mystery of the Key and Spy Conspiracy | Lada Ray Blog

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