Being invisible when you’re real is kind of hard – isn’t it? Jerry feels invisible – no one sees him, hears him, laughs with him…but can one person make all the difference?
Title: Invisible Jerry
Author: Adam Wallace
Illustrator: Giuseppe Poli
ISBN: 9781925335781 Language: English
Themes: social isolations, friendships, inclusiveness
What’s it about?
This is Jerry’s story – at least it begins with Jerry. Jerry who no one seems to notice. The boy who is never last picked for a team because he isn’t picked at all. The boy people crashed into but never said sorry to Jerry. This is the story of a boy that is invisible to those around him.
I like that there is a nice chain-link connection with Jerry and to others as the story continues. The writing is simple and effective (most pages have a sentence). The illustrations are easy to relate to.
Invisible Jerry is an upcoming release by Adam Wallace (if you remember I reviewed the story How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam a few months back though this book has a very different tone). I haven’t actually seen a lot of books that deal with the concept of social isolation. There are a lot of people, including teachers I’ve worked with, who dismiss this as that there must be something “wrong” with the child is no one wants to be their friend which is just so wrong.
In some ways I wish this book had been around about 30 years ago – yes because I was one of those invisible kids. I once read in a story (I think it was a story – I can’t quite pinpoint where I read it now) that when one character was asked what he was in school he replied he was a ‘ghost’ which I feel is basically the same concept. The feeling that no one notices you, no one wants to play with you, no one sees you much less hears you. If you’ve been there you’ll know what a horrid experience that it can make going to school.
A chain reaction in action
What I like about this book is that it isn’t just about Jerry. You see while no one notices Jerry at first eventually Molly does. Suddenly Jerry is brought to life and experiences that missing piece of what he needs to grow and develop into a healthy adult. This story just doesn’t stop there because, and I really can’t word it any better because the author nailed it, Jerry sums it up in the middle of the book when he says:
“Not everybody could have a Molly.
But maybe someone could have a Jerry!”
And so a link in the chain is added and Jerry reaches out to Paul who is also invisible. This to me is one of the important elements of the book that make this so good for the classroom. It’s not about just one action – it’s about the reaction and follow-on from that one event – in this case a positive action (let’s face it, we see enough books with the wrong thing being shown!).
Lots of opportunities for learning for this one. I say a must have when it is released in November 2018.