The Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth
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source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Nadia finds adventure in the pages of her Superman comic books, until a mysterious boy saves her dog from drowning during a storm and then disappears. Now she finds herself in the role of Lois Lane, hunting down the scoop of the Invisible Boy, and suddenly she’s in a real-life adventure that’s far more dangerous than anything in her comic books.
Review: This middle grade novel tackles a really big, serious, topic, but it does it in a way that younger readers can understand. That topic? Child labor trafficking.
Nadia loves superhero comics, and she wants to be an investigative reporter like Lois Lane someday. The big story in her neighborhood is a boy who rescues her dog and then disappears. She dubs him The Invisible Boy. As the book progresses, and Nadia actually befriends this boy, she realizes that maybe he isn’t a superhero…but there’s still a story surrounding him.The Invisible Boy is an MG novel that tackles child labor trafficking...see how it's done in my book review #ontheblog! #theinvisibleboy #middlegradefiction Click To Tweet
Child labor trafficking is a terrifying topic. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens all over – yes, even in the United States. I think Hollingsworth does a great job of explaining what child labor trafficking is, and signs to look out for, without completely scaring readers. Yes, it’s a scary topic, but Nadia shows that being brave really is about doing the scary things anyway.
Another aspect I really loved about this book are the comics throughout. Nadia’s story, or idea of what she’s seeing (aka superheroes and super villains exist, etc.) are shown through comic panels. These are done by Deborah Lee. I had an ARC, which still included these, but I’m very curious what the final version looks like! Someone will have to grab a copy and let me know.
Would you read this book – or recommend it to MG readers? Do you know of other MG novels that tackle tough topics well?