She Is Not Invisible
It’s not out for a couple of months yet in the US (due April 22), but I enjoyed She Is Not Invisible so much that I couldn’t wait to write about it.
It’s the story of Laureth, a sixteen-year-old girl who takes her seven-year-old brother Benjamin from England to New York to find their missing father. Only she’s blind, so the travel plans are a bit more complicated than simply borrowing Mom’s credit card. And Benjamin’s got his own weird ability that makes the adventure more difficult.
The book by Marcus Sedgwick is also about coincidence and synchronicity and probability and patterns, since Dad is a writer working on a book about those subjects (and constantly hearing from the public “I like your earlier books, the funny ones”). I learned the words “numinous” and “apophenia” and was pleasantly reminded of how much fun it was to read puzzle books like Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game. This is aimed a bit older, although still for young adults.
I found the story gripping, a real page-turner, and not something that succumbs to cliché the way I just did. There’s the bigger mystery of how and whether the siblings will find their father, but the parts that really involved me were the smaller struggles, as Laureth is challenged by airport security procedures and making sure Benjamin keeps hold of his stuffed raven Stan and getting him to help her without freaking him out. It’s a very clever book in many good ways.
Thankfully, it’s also a teen novel that’s about something other than drippily falling in love or supernatural powers, just in case you’d appreciate the variety. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)