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17 November 2011

Review: Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins

Who hasn't had an invisible friend?  Oh sure, when we're about 6 (ok, maybe 12 for some of us), everyone has that "friend" that we can share with, blame our mistakes on, etc.  But for Hank (or Wolowitz as he likes to be called), his invisible friend actually just can't see him.

Here is the summary from Goodreads:
The thing about Hank's new friend Inkling is, he's invisible.
No, not imaginary. Inkling is an invisible bandapat, a creature native only to the Peruvian Woods of Mystery. (Or maybe it is the Ukrainian glaciers. Inkling hardly ever gets his stories straight.)
Now Inkling has found his way to Brooklyn and into Hank's laundry basket on his quest for squash—bandapats' favorite food. But Hank has bigger problems than helping Inkling fend off maniac doggies and search for yummy pumpkins: Bruno Gillicut is a lunch-stealing dirtbug caveperson and he's got to be stopped. And who better to help stand up to a bully than an invisible friend?

I must admit, when I first read that summary, I was like..."WHAT in the WHAT?!?!"  Bandapats?  Peruvian Woods of Mystery?  I KNOW there aren't any glaciers in the Ukraine.  But, once I actually started reading, not only did everything make sense, but I really enjoyed it.

Hank has a great personality, all boy and pure fun.  I loved that his parents were caring and involved.  Inkling is that imaginary friend that we all had---the one who we can blame all our bad ideas on; but in this situation, he actually cares for Hank and genuinely wants to help him. 

I guess what I like best about the book is it shows us that we can make mistakes (in dealing with people, or make poor decisions) and its ok!  But also that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Amazon suggests that the reading level for Invisible Inkling be grade 2+.  While the chapters are shorter and the words somewhat easier, I would suggest that its actually for older children.  Not only is Hank older (going into 4th grade), but the ideas of an invisible friend who is actually real and how to deal with a bully might be better suited for older elementary students.  Now, use your discretion---if your child (or students) would be interested in this and can understand those ideas in a more concrete way, then by all means, let them read it.  I just think its better suited to older students.


*I read and reviewed this book as is was a Cybils nominee.  All opinions expressed above are mine and not that of the committee.*

This book was nominated by Katie Ahern of Secrets and Sharing Soda

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