Invisible Lines

Invisible Lines

5.0 4
by Mary Amato, Antonio Caparo

View All Available Formats & Editions

If there’s one thing I’m good at it’s making people laugh because when I’m standing up I’m what you call a stand-up comedian, and when I’m sitting down, I’m just plain funny. 
Trevor is just plain funny, and he’s lucky he is. Because this year he needs a sense of humor. Moving to a


If there’s one thing I’m good at it’s making people laugh because when I’m standing up I’m what you call a stand-up comedian, and when I’m sitting down, I’m just plain funny. 
Trevor is just plain funny, and he’s lucky he is. Because this year he needs a sense of humor. Moving to a new home is hard enough—the sign reads hedley gardens, but everyone calls these projects deadly gardens. And the move to a fancy new school is even harder—all the kids from Deadly Gardens seem to be in the same classes and keep to themselves, but somehow Trevor’s ended up in an advanced science class with kids who seem to have everything, and know everything, including how to please their strange new teacher.

Someone else might just give up, but Trevor has plans. This is going to be his year.  And he is going to use whatever he has, do whatever it takes, to make it at this new school. He may not have what these other kids have, but Trevor knows he’s got some stuff to show. No one is better at juggling in soccer, and he knows he can draw—he calls himself the Graffiti Guy.

But Xander, a star in the classroom and on the soccer field, has other plans for Trevor. He doesn’t like anyone trespassing on his turf and begins to sabotage Trevor at every opportunity. Who is going to believe Trevor over the school star? Is there any way that Trevor can achieve his goals against a guy who is as good at bullying as he is at everything else he does?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Trevor is used to hardship: his dad is in jail, and his mom relies on him to watch his younger siblings while she goes from job to job. But when the family moves to a shabby housing project, it's hard for the seventh grader to keep his trademark sense of humor. Things seem to be looking up, however, when he hits it off with some wealthy guys on the soccer team. As he tries unsuccessfully to convince his mom that he can juggle soccer, homework, and babysitting, his one saving grace comes from an unlikely source. Accidentally enrolled in a "gifted" science course, he meets Mr. Ferguson. The teacher's knowledge of fungi is surpassed only by his skill at sparking curiosity. Trevor is soon placed in the "correct" class, but Mr. Ferguson, recognizing his disappointment, encourages him to challenge the rules. Amato shows a real flair for middle school voices, and she does not back away from tough issues. Abandoned children, abusive parents, and kids who steal are all a part of Trevor's daily life. The author's subtle sense of humor is at work here, and the wordplay is her nod to the theme of connectedness among family and friends. This fresh story is enhanced by notes and drawings from Trevor's fungi notebook. With its short chapters, snappy dialogue, and scientific extras, the novel should find a wide audience.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
An upbeat teen with a talent for drawing and soccer who hails from the wrong side of the tracks learns to bloom where he's planted. When seventh grader Trevor moves to the trashy Hedley Gardens project with his single-parent mom and younger siblings, he decides "it's going to be my year." Entering a new school in a rich neighborhood, Trevor is accidently placed in an advanced science class. Encouraged by the eccentric teacher to discover the world of mushrooms, Trevor applies humor and evasive tactics to fit in. He draws original designs on his classmates' shoes, and he tries out for an elite soccer team knowing he can't pay the fees. However, Trevor's plans for success derail after the star soccer player sabotages him. Narrating in the present tense, Trevor instantly engages readers with a resilient and infectious can-do attitude that eventually enables him to turn the tables on his rival. Amato's mushroom metaphor aptly fits her young hero, who emerges from unpromising surroundings by following his mom's advice "to rise above it." (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Fiction - Middle Grade
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
650L (what's this?)
File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
10 - 18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mary Amato is the author of many acclaimed books for children including Invisible Lines, which was nominated for the California Young Readers Medal and was selected for the Missouri Truman Awards Master List. Of that book, The Washington Post states, “you may come to learn . . . an important lesson about what really matters in life. But amid all that learning of important lessons, there will be a good bit of giggling, too.”

A prolific songwriter, Mary sings, plays the guitar, and teaches songwriting. She also performs in the Washington, DC, area. Guitar Notes is her first novel for young adult readers.
Mary lives in Maryland with her family. You can visit her online at and learn more about writing your own music and the joy of thrumming at

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Invisible Lines 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Even with the odds stacked against him, Trevor Musgrove proves that determination and a sense of humor can work wonders. Moving to a new school has its challenges. Trevor, his mother, and his two younger siblings are moving into a new apartment. It is a pretty crappy place with smelly hallways, broken elevators, and a definite criminal element. Unfortunately, it's all they can afford. All three kids wear secondhand clothes and sleep on mattresses from a place called Save the Children. Trevor's mom works two jobs and that leaves him babysitting the two younger kids when he'd rather be playing soccer and hanging out with his new friends. School could offer a breath of fresh air for Trevor. The kids from his underprivileged neighborhood attend school along with a bunch of rich kids from a different part of town. Trevor discovers himself in a science class for gifted kids in something known as the Summit program. At first he is worried about not making the grade, but once he meets the unusual teacher and starts learning amazing things about mushrooms, he finds out learning is fun and easier than he ever imagined. A big soccer fan, Trevor also finds he has a chance to try out for an elite traveling soccer league. When he mentions it to his overworked mother, she immediately says no way. "Too expensive" and "who will babysit while she has to work" are her reasons for saying no, but Trevor doesn't give up easily. He secretly attends the tryouts and gets a place on the team. It sounds like good news, but that's when everything else begins to go wrong. INVISIBLE LINES by Mary Amato is a fast-paced story of one boy and his fight to help his family, make his mother proud, and meet the challenges of an accelerated program. Amato combines soccer, art, and science in a tale that will grab readers on page one. Aimed at a middle grade audience, INVISIBLE LINES is excellent for independent reading or for use with a group. The characters are typical middle school students in situations that will provide discussion material as well as entertainment.
Englishteachergrade7 More than 1 year ago
This engaging novel grabs the reader in the first chapter and doesn't let go. You will be rooting for the main characters and anxiously keep reading to follow their complicated lives. I read about this book in the California Reader magazine and agree that it will be a hit with middle school students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago