The Invisible Boy
by Trudy Ludwig & Patrice Barton
So I read this book at the library and it absolutely made me cry. It's the story of a little by named Brian who is invisible to everyone--his teacher notices the kids who act out, his classmates never both with him, etc. OMG could I relate bigtime. Brian is used to being invisible and pretty much exists on his own, drawing and imagining. But sometimes he's forced into social situations like sports or lunchtime, which are hell for him because no one wants him there. He feels so invisible he wants to just draw a hole and disappear into it. But then a new kid comes and gets teased a little. And though the new kid is quickly loved and accepted by his classmates, Brian's leaves him a note and drawing and--guess what? Brian GETS NOTICED BY SOMEONE. Nice going, new kid. The new kid even convinces a classmate to include Brian on a project, and the three of them have fun and use Brian's drawing talent well. By the end of the book, Brian is drawing cool thing for everyone. He gets to be who he is, doing what he likes to do, and doesn't have to change just to get noticed or included. This is the best thing ever. Seriously.
The art is so lovely. I can't even describe the style... rough but detailed, soft but striking? Brian is in black and white for most of the book, but every time he actually gets noticed just a little, part of him gets a little color to it (usually the hand doing the drawing). Such a sweet and clever device.
The part that really got me was the author's dedication at the end thanking his friend for always including him. I totally lost it at that moment (and am crying now, just writing it). For those of us who've felt like that at any moment of our lives, just wanting to be noticed and included not awkwardly invisible, those little things mean the world. And it's so lovely that so much of that struggle was so beautifully put in this book.