The Invisible Boyby Trudy Ludwig, Patrice Barton
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody 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.From esteemed… See more details below
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody 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.From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. 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 backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading.
“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.)
"Illustrator Barton adds a wonderful touch by drawing all the other characters in color but sketching Brian in faint shades of black and white - at least at first....Before long, Brian, in living color, is not so invisible after all. It's a lovely lesson in the simple acts of friendship, especially recommended for the most popular kids in class."
Scholastic Instructor, Fall 2013:
"Pitch-perfect words and art."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, September 2013:
"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.”
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2013:
"Tender illustrations rendered in glowing hues capture Brian’s isolation deftly...Use this to start a discussion: The author includes suggested questions and recommended reading lists for adults and children. Accessible, reassuring and hopeful."
Publishers Weekly, August 26, 2013:
"Ludwig and Barton understand classroom dynamics...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."
"Trudy Ludwig has given us the gift of another empathic, poignant book for children that addresses the complex topic of peer relationships...A must-read."
- Carrie Goldman, award-winning author of BULLIED: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know about Ending the Cycle of Fear
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
This endearing picture book about a timid boy who longs to belong has an agenda but delivers its message with great sensitivity. Brian wants to join in but is overlooked, even ostracized, by his classmates. Readers first see him alone on the front endpapers, drawing in chalk on the ground. The school scenarios are uncomfortably familiar: High-maintenance children get the teacher's attention; team captains choose kickball players by popularity and athletic ability; chatter about birthday parties indicates they are not inclusive events. Tender illustrations rendered in glowing hues capture Brian's isolation deftly; compared to the others and his surroundings, he appears in black and white. What saves Brian is his creativity. As he draws, Brian imagines amazing stories, including a poignant one about a superhero with the power to make friends. When a new boy takes some ribbing, it is Brian who leaves an illustrated note to make him feel better. The boy does not forget this gesture. It only takes one person noticing Brian for the others to see his talents have value; that he has something to contribute. Brian's colors pop. In the closing endpapers, Brian's classmates are spread around him on the ground, "wearing" his chalk-drawn wings and capes. Use this to start a discussion: The author includes suggested questions and recommended reading lists for adults and children. Accessible, reassuring and hopeful. (Picture book. 5-7)
- Random House Children's Books
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 24 MB
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- Age Range:
- 6 - 9 Years
Meet the Author
TRUDY LUDWIG is the author of many books for children, including My Secret Bully and Confessions of a Former Bully. An active member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, she is a sought-after speaker who collaborates frequently with organizations like The Ophelia Project, Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project, and Putting Family First. Trudy has been profiled on national television, radio, and in newsprint, and her books have received the Mom's Choice Gold Award, the CCBC's "Best of the Best" award, and have been recognized as NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Books for Young People.PATRICE BARTON earned a BFA in studio art from the University of Texas in Austin, where she lives with her husband and son. Her books include Sweet Moon Babywritten by Karen Henry Clark; Mine! by Shutta Crum; I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman and Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine by Allison Wortche—all available from Knopf.
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I am an elementary school social worker and frequently use books like this to teach lessons on friendship. The illustrations are beautiful and the message behind the story is powerful. Many of the children I've shared this story with were able to identify with the main character. I would highly recommend this as part of Character Education.
Tender story about a shy, good boy who is clever at drawing but quiet about everything else. Because he's not friendly, or a problem in class, he routinely gets ignored. His friendship fortunes change when he decides to reach out to a boy being made fun of. Beautifully told, quietly powerful.