“One final time I told myself I wasn’t abducting my little brother.”
Some books have first sentences that are so intriguing and raise so many questions, a reader can’t help but feel compelled to discover the answers. She Is Not Invisible, Marcus Sedgwick’s newest novel, sweeps up the reader right from the start as Laureth and her brother Benjamin embark on a trip both ordinary and perilous. They are traveling from London to New York, a flight they’ve done in the past with their parents. This time, it’s just the two of them and, because Benjamin is only seven and in her care while their mother is away, Laureth really can’t leave him behind. Besides, she needs his assistance if they are to discover the whereabouts of their dad. Despite her resolve and resourcefulness, her calm demeanor and intelligence, Laureth relies on the subtle help Benjamin provides because she’s trying to hide a disability that could deter them on their search. She is blind.
What a departure from Marcus Sedgwick’s previous work, especially his most recent, this year’s Printz award winner, Midwinterblood. She Is Not Invisible has a realistic voice and a contemporary setting. There is no drama behind Laureth’s blindness and because she’s the narrator, readers get a clear understanding that it’s just a small part of who she is as a person. The intimacy of Laureth’s true thoughts and fears and her ability to navigate through the world make her especially memorable. Also touching is her relationship with her brother Benjamin, a bright but lonely boy whose toy raven is his closest confidante. For its wholly unique and captivating characters, its matter-of-fact exploration in the life of a blind teen, and its loving treatment of a fractured but fixable family, She Is Not Invisible is a recommended read for fans who like character-driven books, realistic fiction and mysteries. Put this on your request list because the book becomes available April 22nd!