Tuesday, November 12, 2013

sols: a book to remember

Slice of Life hosted at the 

In celebration of Picture Book Month, we are reading picture books.  Picture books to remember.

I shared the title of a recently published book with our school librarian.  I shared it with our school social worker and psychologist.  I shared it with a teacher who mentioned she had a student crying every day at recess because she was feeling ignored. This is a picture book to remember.

My second grade group of four boys spotted the new book on the whiteboard ledge first.

"Oooo, can you read that book?  Pleeeease!"

"I'm sorry, our time together is up.  It's time to go--"

"C'mon!  Just read the first page!"

"Ok! Ok!  I can't say no to that, especially because it is one of my newest favorite books!"

And the story began about The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.

The invisible boy

I couldn't read just the first page.  I had to read the first two pages and they could not wait to hear more.

I was ecstatic over their response to the book and shared their excitement with the author on Twitter.

I was finally able to read aloud the book to three of my developing reading intervention groups, and their words could not be contained in 140 characters.  Here are some of their thoughts and words:

"I love her book because she showed us friendship."

"I liked how the illustrator made Brian black and white to make him look invisible."

"I'm starting to see color.  He's not invisible to Justin, his teacher, maybe everybody!"  

"I learned to be like Justin.  Be a friend, be nice, be kind."

One of my favorite questions on the resource/discussion page in the back of the book is "How many people did it take to make Brian not feel invisible?"  Many students quickly responded, "Two."  I repeated the question and we had a thoughtful discussion that it only takes YOU.

"I learned from the book that anyone can feel invisible, but it takes one person to feel better."

But Ms. Ludwig asked us to think about this BIG question:

"I think being laughed at is worse.  I get laughed at, but I try to ignore it." - Lavar

"I think being laughed at is worse.  What if you were that person?" - Rachel

"I think being laughed at is worse because it's like bullying." - Evelin

"I think both because they are both horrible." - Chris

"I think being laughed at is worse because they are making fun of you and it's embarrassing." - Nathaniel

"I think being laughed at is worse because it's a sad feeling." - John

"I think feeling invisible because no one will notice you or play with you or invite you." - Saachi

"I think being laughed at because even if you feel invisible, you could always make a friend like Bluebird." - Luke  (We just read this book a day before.  Love his thinking and the connection!)

Ms. Ludwig, Rachel has one question for YOU:  "What do YOU think is worse?"

A must read.  A book to remember.  All my students said:

"Thank you for sharing this book!  Write another!"


Additional notes and resources:


  1. Wow. Even as a high school teacher, this sounds like an amazing book that I will have to add to my library. Thanks for all the links too!

  2. I've seen this book reviewed by others, too, Michelle. thank you for sharing about your experience with the students, too. It sounds like a powerful read for the younger ones, like Wonder for older perhaps?

  3. What a thought provoking book! I love the conversations the kids had and perhaps it will influence the way they treat people. This makes me think of something that I read once (but I don't know who or where it came from) stories teach us how to be human. I think this book might just do that.
    To answer your question, I think being laughed at would be worse for me. That means everyone notices you and when they laugh at you they are saying that something is wrong with you. I love Luke's response, because that's what I think too.

  4. It's so cool that you and your students had a conversation with the author. Thank you for the book recommendation and the links.

  5. Trudy Ludwig is awesome! She replied to me on Twitter after I reviewed her book. I'm delighted to see the interactions you had with her on Twitter as well. I love when authors are willing to communicate like this! (And her book is fantastic to boot!) Thanks for sharing the link to the review I wrote.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful book - and how cool that your kids got to chat with the author!

  7. This sounds like a book I need to be getting because it would be a lesson for all ages...even adults! I was really surprised that so many said that it would be worse to be laughed at. I wonder if the answers would change with different age groups? Something to think about.

  8. What a special experience for all involved. I loved to see glimpses into the interactions and the learning of the students. I remember that feeling of excitement and begging for just a little bit more when it came to read aloud. That's how communities are formed. That's the power of literature! Thank you for sharing these moments.

  9. This book sounds like a life changer! One that I definitely need to get hold of! And how cool that your guys got to "chat" with the author!

  10. Oh! Looks like another must-have book! Thank you for sharing about it. What a great response from your students!

  11. Sounds like a keeper! Your kids had some great comments and I agree with them, I think that being laughed is very difficult to handle. This book can be used to help them relate better with others. I'm sure it would be beneficial no matter what the age of the reader is - young to old. We can all use that reminder of how to treat others. Love ya, Mom

  12. Thank you, Michelle, for generating such thoughtful discussions about my children's book, THE INVISIBLE BOY with the children at your school. Keep up the great work you're doing with kids! With all my best, Trudy

  13. Thank you, Michelle, for generating such thoughtful discussions about my children's book, THE INVISIBLE BOY with the children at your school. Keep up the great work you're doing with kids! With all my best, Trudy

  14. Michelle, what a delightful response from your students and the author. I believe I will be investing in this book. My daughter and I were just discussing this issue at high school. A classmate and friend of our oldest son and friend to Elizabeth too just committed suicide this week. We were discussing how on the outside he seemed fine but inside so much more was happening. I realize that at the elementary level this tragic situation doesn't happen, but the feelings begin at a young age. Thank you so much for sharing this book. I love how you nudged your students to see how they can make a difference.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.