Many children (and adults) feel invisible at some or another point in their lives. We don’t all deal with it in the same way though: some use their outside voice inside too often, some cry or complain, some are destructive, and some withdraw completely.
In The Invisible Boy, Brian is a boy who feels invisible, even to his teacher who is too busy dealing with others who complain or shout. On the playground he is overlooked and not included in playing kickball. At break he is not included in the conversation about one of his classmates’ birthday party, because he was not at the birthday party, because he wasn’t invited. And nobody wants to team up with him when it’s time to work in groups. But Justin, the new student, changes things for Brian when he responds to Brian’s attempt to make friends. And Justin’s creative thinking fills both Brian and Emilio’s buckets, making Brian realize that he’s not that invisible after all.
This is a heart-warming story about “how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish”, and offers a very important lesson every child should learn and every adult’s eyes should be opened up to.
We read this story at Thorntree Prep today during our Book Club Hour, and it tied in really well with our Habits of Mind – how Listening with Understanding and Empathy can make others feel included and not overlooked.
The kids engaged in a conversation about why anyone might feel invisible, what to do to be more visible to others, and how to help others feel more visible.
We started the conversation with a blank piece of paper! When it was painted with watercolours, an “invisible” picture appeared, showing the kids that while the picture was “invisible” to the eye at first, it didn’t mean that it was not there to start off with. With close examination we might’ve noticed the picture on the paper, but because we didn’t take the time, we simply overlooked that fact.
Patrice Barton’s illustrations display the powerful feelings of loneliness and kindness conveyed throughout the text so beautifully!
The story offers a wonderful opportunity to speak about a child’s inclusion in activities at school, and also about friends they may know who might be feeling “invisible”, and about how small acts of kindness can help others feel good AND help you feel better about yourself.
The Invisible Boy connected well with the lesson about bucket filling we had at the beginning of the year, and the illustrations properly depict what happens when a person’s bucket is being filled.
Read more about Trudy Ludwig here