At school, Brian seems to be invisible: no one ever picks him for their team, they don’t invite him to parties, even his teacher forgets about the quiet boy sometimes. Until one day, when a new student named Justin comes to school. On his first day, some of the other kids tease Justin, so Brian decides to not be invisible for once, and offers Justin an encouraging note to cheer him up. In return, Justin might just be the one to help Brian become visible again.
This is a classic story about friendship and shyness, and we liked it. I especially liked that the book didn’t try to force Brian out of his shell into being the most popular kid: being shy and/or quiet is fine if that’s who you are! The important thing is having the courage to reach out occasionally, especially to be kind or encouraging. I also loved that Justin was as much a driving force for friendship: he repaid Brian’s gesture by reaching back to invite him into his circle of friends and support Brian’s talents. It’s a good way for kids to learn how they can help their more timid friends. The art is lovely, subtly using color, and occasionally its absence, to tell the story as much as the text does. The length was fine, and while JJ didn’t go as wild for this one (likely due to the more muted color scheme and subdued text), it’s a great story for older kids to learn about making friends, and being a good friend in return. Baby Bookworm approved!