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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Invisible Boy - Trudy Ludwig

"A story with heart and soul.  The Invisible Boy brings the power of kindness and compassion into focus." Mia Doces, Committee for Children

The power of one.  If we can truly teach children that they can make a difference, what power we can instill in each student!  Trudy Ludwig has written many books dealing with bullying and this one is great.  I read it to Abby, who is 7 and she needed a little bit of time to realize that the boy really isn't invisible, just quiet and outside of the action.  I think everyone can relate to this subject in some way.  Abby was thrilled to see that Brian's colour was beginning to show.  This is a book where kids will read the pictures as much as they will listen to the text.  It was very clear to my 7 year old that a little gesture can make a big difference to someone who feels that they aren't 'seen'. 

This book can start a great discussion.  For one thing they can try and remember to extend a little kindness to someone who seems to be on the outskirts of a group.  As well, it's so interesting for me to talk to kids about what makes someone popular.  Like Justin in the book, why do people gravitate to some kids and not to others?  It's not always obvious.  I clearly remember having a talk with some grade 6 girls recently.  Two new girls started the same day, one was 'cool' from day one and the other was not.  When I asked the 'uncool' one was this was so, she couldn't articulate the reason.  Just that everyone wanted to be the other girl's friend right away.

I love when authors add questions to their books!  I asked some of them to Abby ad would definitely use these in a class.  Group reading responses to this book would be a great activity.  Look for my blogs on Written Conversations or Placemat Reading Response and use one or a few of the following questions:

-Have you ever tried to join a group game or activity and other kids wouldn't let you?  If yes, how did that make you feel?

-Have you ever intentionally excluded other kids from joining your group game or activity?  If yes, why?

-When Madison and her friends talked about her birthday party in front of Brian, do you think they were just being thoughtless or were they being mean to Brian on purpose?  Explain.

-Which do you think is worse - being laughed at or feeling invisible?  Explan.  (Abby said being laughed at)

And I LOVE the recommended reading for adults and kids - a great feature!  See my Page about great anti bullying books to read to/with your students.

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