Reviews for Last Invisible Boy
Booklist Reviews 2008 November #1
Finn Garret is disappearing. Every day he wakes to find a little less pigment reflected in the mirror. It all began, he says, on "The Terrible Day That Changed Everything, the day I lost my dad forever." Finn s first-person chronicle of his life after his father s death strikes a balance of honest humor and poignancy. The narrative structure is clever and affecting: the less the world sees of Finn, the more the reader comes to know. Finn s journal, an assemblage of log entries, quizzes, drawings, and directions to the reader, is genuinely adolescent, funny, and moving. Vivid details, like Finn s obsession with saltwater taffy, add depth to the characterizations and grow in meaning as the story progresses. In style, Finn s diary sits somewhere between those in Jeff Kinney s Wimpy Kid series and Sherman Alexie s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007). But Finn s distinct narrative voice, and the sweet precision with which the story unfolds, give this title a touching resonance all its own. Copyright Booklist Reviews 2008.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
After his father's death, twelve-year-old Finn Garret's hair starts to turn white, causing him to believe he is becoming invisible. Finn's meandering journal explores many facets of dealing with grief, though it can be, by turns, too self-aware and too lighthearted to be truly believable as written by the character. Black-and-white cartoon art throughout tracks Finn's slow disappearance and reemergence. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 September #2
Grief-stricken after the sudden death of his father, Finn starts turning invisible in this magical-realism tale of recovery. Finn's story starts in media res, his father dead and his invisibility far progressed, with his skin the color of paper and his formerly brown hair whitening. When he returns to school sometime after the death, the bullying jeers about his freakish new coloring are his only distraction from the awkward attempts at sympathy from teachers and friends. Through a series of brief vignettes illustrated by Finn's own cartoons, he recalls his picture-perfect relationship with his father, from games of midnight baseball to father-son motorcycle rides. It takes time for Finn to recognize the grief of others--his mother, his grandfather--and to start on the path to recovery along with his mother and kid brother. Finn's poignant story is a quietly believable tale of one family's journey through grief. Coovert's cartoons add a nice touch of bittersweet humor. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 October #2
Were Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid to be suddenly bereaved, his next diary might approximate this painful but often funny novel, written by the author of the adult work Wolf Boy and illustrated by a debut graphic artist. Keeping a notebook, 12-year-old Finn Garrett explains in an early entry that a few months before, "a giant eraser fell from the sky and flattened me.... It's been erasing me from the world ever since." His father has died unexpectedly (in circumstances described only near the end), and Finn's black hair and pink complexion are gradually turning white (Coovert's cartoon shows a gray Finn looking into a mirror and seeing a vampire reflected back). As Finn remembers perfect moments with his father, avoids school as long as possible and compares his mother's and paternal grandfather's attitudes about death, he is made to see his pediatrician as well as a kindly school psychologist, who have their own theories about the "whiteness thing." Precise in his metaphors and his characterizations, Kuhlman delivers a study in coping with loss that middle-schoolers will want to absorb and empathize with. Ages 10-14. (Nov.) [Page 54]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 December
Gr 5-7--This illustrated novel, reminiscent in style of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007), is sure to have huge appeal. Finn Garrett tells the tender yet humorous story of how he begins to disappear following his beloved dad's sudden death. The 12-year-old awakens the morning after the day when everything changes to find a strand of white hair and less "pinkness" to his skin. Each day he grows whiter and less visible. He begins to write a memoir, which is really an account of his and his family's grief over their devastating loss. While poignant and sad, the book is ultimately upbeat as they begin to heal. At times Finn feels he is being erased because he failed to save his dad. At other times he wonders if he is aging in order to get closer to him. He recounts memory after memory, ultimately realizing the importance of them, and of being the keeper of his father's stories. Finn sees a therapist, and eventually he, his mother, his grandpa, his little brother, and his friend Melanie move beyond their initial pain. Finn's invisibility reverses itself and he becomes a boy who has managed to hold on to the world. The book's engaging, intimate tone is enhanced by Finn frequently addressing readers. Stop signs placed at points when he is overwhelmed with feeling add to the tenderness. The language and style are pitch-perfect middle school, and the illustrations ably capture the boy's memories and moods.--Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME [Page 130]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.