The Invisible Boy
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The Invisible Boy

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  111 reviews
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 an...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Have you ever felt left out? Alone in a roomful of people?

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig introduces us to Brian. A sweet-hearted boy who feels invisible. In a class room swimming with kids, how does a quiet boy more apt to communicate with drawings and art stand out, find friends, and not get lost in the hustle, bustle and noise?

One act. One chance. One word can change everything. Brian reaches out with kindness to Justin, the new kid in class. Just leaving a note saying “Hi” in his own spec...more
Right, friends. I promise, I promise, this is my last SLJ 2013 book that I’ll be reviewing today. You’ve been so patient with my repeated updates!

But I saved a good one for the end. It’s full of feels.

So in The Invisible Boy, we meet Brian. Brian is very quiet, and clearly smart, and brilliant at drawing.

Unfortunately, he’s also invisible. Not the cool Hey Look I’m A Member Of The Fantastic Four kind of invisible, but rather the shitty kind, where you’re ACTUALLY THERE, but no one gives a damn...more
I would recommend this book to any classes at the elementary level. It is a wonderful reminder for students about how it feels to be left out and how they can include others. It is also a great reminder for teachers to pay attention to ALL children. The pictures are very well done. I like how Brian is drawn in black and white at first. A terrific story!
Carrie Gelson
This book was an important read for me - but sharing it in a room full of students, it is huge -
Patricia Tilton
Brian feels invisible to his teacher and friends at school. He is with them, but not really. 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 student...more
I definitely liked this picture book. It deals with the question: which is worse--being laughed at or feeling invisible?

Brian, our young hero, is the invisible boy. He's friendless. This is noticeable even in the classroom, but especially so in the lunchroom and at recess. But when a new student comes, Brian reaches out to him--via note, I might add--and soon Brian begins to lose his invisibility. It starts with the new kid, Justin, but soon expands to include others. It has a happy ending that...more
I’ve had several tell me to get this book, and finally I did! Please don’t wait any longer if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a poignant story of too many in classrooms who are excluded and terribly lonely. It will be a terrific read aloud to discuss more than once with a class. A young boy named Brian is left out in most of the school activities, going unnoticed by even his teacher, until his smile and a thoughtful note begins a friendship with a boy new to the class. Patrice Barton’s beautiful i...more
Rosi Hollinbeck
My review from the San Francisco Book Review
Brian seems to be invisible. No one seems to notice him. When all the children sit around the lunch table talking about the great birthday party Madison had over the weekend, Brian can’t talk about it because he hadn’t been invited. During recess when teams are chosen for games, the kids announce they have enough for the game without choosing Brian. Even in the classroom, the teacher spends all her time dealing with kids who whine and act out, leaving...more
MyACPL Athens County Public Libraries
from Terri:

Book titles can be whimsical, fun and some titles just catch the imagination so you want to read the book. When I picked up the children’s book The Invisible Boy, I wondered what the author would do with the story line. Would the little boy really be invisible? Being invisible sounds like fun but the author puts a spin on this story that makes being invisible anything but fun. We meet Brian who is in grade school and he is socially invisible. Brian doesn’t take up a lot of space…doesn...more
I fell in love with Brian from the very beginning. He is so adorable and innocent, but unfortunately invisible to those in the world around him. He loves to imagine and create and drawing is his passion. Drawing is what keeps him going because his classmates never include him, never pick him for their team or choose to play with him, and he never gets invited to birthday parties. Even his teacher looks through him and doesn't stop to find out what a beautiful little person he is or what valuable...more
The Invisible Boy is a story about a little boy named Brian who is shy and overlooked by his classmates. Brian is an artist with a fun imagination. But his classmates don’t pick him to play on teams or invite him to their parties. When new student Justin joins the class, he is teased by the other classmates because he eats with chopsticks. The next day Brian leaves Justin a note with a drawing of Brian eating with chopsticks telling Justin he thought his lunch looked yummy. After that, Justin ma...more
Sharon Tyler
The Invisible Boy is a picturebook written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton. Brian is the invisible boy. He seems to be invisible in line, while teams are being chosen to play games, at lunch, and just about all the time. So, Brian often loses himself in his art to distract himself from going unnoticed. When a new boy joins his class Brian is left to wonder if it is better to be invisible or picked on. He reaches out to the new boy and in turn is given a moment of his own to shi...more
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig is about a boy named Brian who goes through school days unnoticed by his classmates. He feels left out until a new kid arrives at school. A story about alienation, acceptance, friendship, and kindness.

Don't expect a book that entertains. The story is not uncommon. The topic and execution is straightforward and authentic. This would make a perfect study guide for elementary school children. It addresses issues that school children face like feeling left out. List...more
Rachel Watkins
This beautiful story illustrated with pencil sketches should be a must-read for the beginning of the school year for ALL elementary students. The story of a boy no one notices will be familiar to teachers. Parents can use this book as well, to talk about friendships, kindness, and taking small risks like speaking to a new kid at school. I LOVED IT!
This is a beautiful book. Ludwig has written a sensitive story about Brian, who feels as if he is invisible because nobody seems to ever notice him. They don't choose him for teams, don't invite him to parties, and don't include him at lunch. When a new boy comes to town, Brian hopes that maybe he can make a friend. The new boy not only overcomes people laughing at his strange Korean food but also finds a way to include Brian and show others the talent that Brian has.

The story is lovely, but th...more
I'm not sure who pointed me in the direction of this children's story, but it was really spot on in its storytelling. You get that it's getting at the isolation this little boy feels, without being preachy or over the top, which I think is pretty difficult to do. There does seem to be a sense of realism about the book as well, because who hasn't felt this way from time to time? I think this would be a must read for a children's library. I think it would be very validating in a sense, not because...more
Deb Jones
The Invisible Boy is a very compassionate story that centers around students who are naturally quiet and not the center of attention. The use of color with black and white accents focuses the reader on the main character in a very natural manner. This would be a wonderful book to share at the beginning of the school or if a new student was joining a classroom during the year. The story raises the question of how children react to those who are different or new. The drawings add another dimension...more
Tracy St.
I have never heard of this story before, but it is one that I now want to purchase for my own classroom. In this short picture book a young boy named Brian feels invisible in his classroom. The illustrator makes this point very clear to the reader by drawing the pictures in vivid colors with Brian penciled in in black and white. Brian is ignored in the classroom, at lunch, and on the playground until a new little boy, Justin, joins the class. After Justin comes to the school he begins to invite...more
In a class full of vivacious children, Brian is shy and easy to miss-he is almost invisible. No one bothers to speak to Brian, or invites him to sit with them at lunch, or even chooses him when teams are forming. Even Brian's teacher is too preoccupied by more demanding children so Brian melts away into the background. When Justin, a new student arrives, Brian is the only one to offer up a smile of welcome. Justin is teased for the type of lunch he brings so Brian kindly leaves a note for Justin...more
Some kids just fade into the background, and in Brian's case this is more true than for most. He is quiet, shy, loves his imaginary worlds, and is never invited along.
For most of the story, Brian is shaded gray, compared to the very colourful appearances of the other children. That is until, one day, a new classmate arrives. From that point on, as the new boy encourages him, he becomes more involved, and his shades are replaced by new hues.

A soft chalk look keeps a very hard topic from becoming...more
Billie Crane
I really enjoyed this story and the illustrations! Brian feels invisible in his class of students who are loud and seem to have friendships that do not include him. Until a new student arrives and begins to include Brian in a group project. Through this experience Brian is able to show who he is and his amazing drawing skills. In the end Brian feels completely visible and valued by his new friends. The illustrations add much to this story because at the beginning Brian is drawn in black and whit...more
Mrs. Knott
Wow. Just an amazing book. Because it needs to be told. We all have someone who feels like the Invisible Boy in our classes. We've probably felt like the Invisible One before. Empathy for each other really needs to be taught and emphasized in our schools. I assume that it is taught, that the idea of inclusion, and community is expected at all schools. But as I found out this year, it isn't. We can't assume. We need to teach. Not only does this book have a beautiful message, the illustrations are...more
This one tugged on my emotions, since, like Brian, I've been the invisible one more often than I want to think about (Though I'm not as artistic as Brian, sadly).

There are subtle ways of kids leaving kids out of activities. You don't even have to bully them. You just ignore them, or overlook them, or sort of forget they are in the same room with you.

So sometimes it takes an outsider to "see" the invisible one. And that's Justin. And he's different, too (ethnically). But Brian sees something in...more
I HATE preachy children's books. Kids see right through them and any adult with a bit of sense gets this and does not attempt to read these pedantic and annoying stories to a group of kids. I could go on but you get the point.

I LOVE a children's book that just tells a freaking story and lets the reader/listener draw a conclusion from it. The Invisible Boy by Ludwig is this type and she does the job brilliantly.

Brian is the "invisible boy" in his classroom. While all the other kids are drawn in r...more
A good conversation starter for including others, being a good bystander, manners, etc. Feels a little too "young" for my 4th graders, but I might try it as a launch pad for talking. Maybe the kids could make their own skits to reflect what excluding others would look like for them in a day in their life. Then, they can model the same day with inclusive, positive behaviors.

Discussion: How many kids did it take in tho story to help Brian begin to feel less invisible? When the class was talking ab...more
Brian knows that being "invisible" can be lonely: he never gets invited to birthday parties or included in kickball. But when his classmates make fun of the new kid's lunch, Brian realizes that being laughed at can feel just as bad as being invisible. With one small but courageous act of kindness, Brian dares to forge a connection that changes everything.

This warm and well-executed story highlights the subtleties of bullying and illuminates the power of kindness and compassion, making it a fine...more
Christine Fonseca
Just loved everything about this book from the storyline to the illustrations. Powerful! A must for every classroom
Brian, a quiet young student who "doesn't take up a lot of space," spends his days at school being overlooked and left behind from any kind of attention, from the teacher and the chance to be in teams or working with groups. An opportunity arises to become noticable with the arrival of a new student, Justin. The illustrations are reflect the story very well, picturing Brian as invisible by being depicted as the only black & white object throughout the story. The preschool group enjoyed the b...more
I really liked this book. The artist in me loved the subtle way color was used with the main character. There are countless ways this could be used in a classroom
(Friendship, feelings, acceptance, even letter writing- see questions for discussion at the back of the book), but what I truly love is what it can teach a teacher. On the very first page Brian is standing right next to the teacher, yet feels invisible. So many times teachers ignore the quiet children. Please don't. Take a little bit of...more
:Donna Marie
THE INVISIBLE BOY Since I became aware of Patrice Barton, I've always loved her illustration style. It was perfectly paired with Trudy Ludwig's beautiful text in this poignant, heart-warming story of a boy who feels invisible.

Growing up is not easy, and when, for whatever reason, someone is always left out or ignored, it's hurtful and can create lasting scars. In this story it shows how reaching out in a genuine way, even if only with something small, it can change everything---including becomi...more
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Trudy Ludwig is a nationally acclaimed speaker and an award-winning author who specializes in writing children's books that help kids cope with and thrive in their social world. She has received rave reviews from educators, experts, organizations, and parents for her passion and compassion in addressing friendship, bullying, and cyberbullying issues at schools and conferences around the country.

More about Trudy Ludwig...
My Secret Bully Just Kidding Confessions of a Former Bully Trouble Talk Sorry!

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