The Invisible Boy Book Review

When students return to the classroom in the fall, there will probably be a few new faces. Honestly, these students most likely will feel very nervous about a new environment and not knowing anyone. Additionally, there will be students who ended the previous year not having many friends and often felt left out. Whether students are new to the school or have been there for years, teachers know the importance of having friends. Thus, they work hard to ensure students understand the importance of being kind and inviting to everyone. Thankfully, this book review on The Invisible Boy is a powerful way to remind students how bad it feels to be left out. With The Invisible Boy book, students will never forget to include all classmates! 

the invisible boy

The Invisible Boy 

Author Trudy Ludwig and illustrator Patrice Barton show readers the power of small acts of kindness. 

Sadly, Brian feels like he is invisible. No one includes him in class or asks him to be part of their group. Additionally, he is never invited to a birthday party or to play a game with friends. However, everything changes when a new student named Justin arrives! 

the invisible boy book

Since Brian knows what it feels like to be left out, he is the first to make Justin feel welcome. The boys work on projects together and quickly became great friends. Thankfully, Brian’s simple act of kindness transforms him from an invisible boy to a friend. 

This is an incredible book to help remind students to include everyone. Honestly, friendships allow everyone to belong and flourish.

Book Activities 

Some students may not notice when a classmate feels left out. Or, they may not know what it feels like to be a new student. Luckily, fun activities ensure students understand the power of being kind. 

The Invisible Boy Activities:

Many Common Core-aligned activities accompany this sweet story. Specifically, there are discussion questions, various journal prompts, vocabulary words, and author’s purpose activities. There is even a letter-writing activity to practice this vital skill. Additionally, there is a fun brainstorming activity and resources to help students identify who, what, where, when, and why. Students will love the lessons with this incredible book! 


This is a great story to work on sequencing and recall skills. Students can use the transition words of first, next, and last. Then, they can take key events in the story and place them in the correct order. Furthermore, they can recall additional details that happened outside of key events. 

Making Connections:

No one likes to feel left out. Sadly, many people have experienced this. While reading The Invisible Boy book, students may think of ways they can relate to Brian. Thus, this is a great time to work on making connections. For instance, students can write about a time they felt lonely or invisible. As a warmup, students can even participate in a “Stand Up-Sit Down” activity. Teachers can say different statements, such as “Stand up if you ever felt left out at recess.” Likewise, “Stand up if you didn’t have someone to play with before.” Then, students will stand up if they have experienced the statement. Honestly, students are so open during this activity, allowing everyone to see how vital being kind is. 

the invisible boy


The illustrations in the story are amazing! When Brian feels sad and left out, he will be in black and white. However, everyone around him will be in color. Thankfully, Brian ends up making friends. This now means his character will appear in color as well. Students may not realize the symbolism of these color changes without talking about it. Thus, this is the perfect time to have a conversation about the deeper meaning of certain aspects. 

Small Acts of Kindness Creation:

Many schools have several new students arrive throughout the year. Since no one wants a new person to feel like Brian did, students can develop a plan to ensure everyone feels included. Honestly, this can also be a great activity if you notice current students appearing sad or sitting alone at lunch. 

Ultimately, The Invisible Boy book helps develop a positive classroom environment that is welcoming and supportive of everyone. After reading the book and completing different activities, students will feel inspired to build friendships and connections with everyone around them. 

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I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

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