Absorbing, warm and occasionally playful—the story of a young woman whose invisibility helps her to better see herself, and...

INVISIBLE

A young girl just shy of graduating high school acquires a new gift and a way to literally hide from the world. “Sometimes I disappear,” she explains.

  Lola, self-described as “fat” and “freakishly tall,” lives a lowly existence. Her parents, desperately clinging to their youth, barely acknowledge her; her sister belittles her; and she’s a target for bullies. She finds solace in her love of writing, her BFF Charlie (short for Charlene) and her maternal grandmother, affectionately called Gran. Any wish she had to become invisible in the eyes of cruel teenagers is suddenly a reality, as she vanishes from others’ sight and is neither seen nor heard. Lola soon realizes that she disappears during emotionally intense moments. Bannon’s debut novel adequately captures the life of a bullied teen: the dread of facing classmates at school, the self-loathing and the incessant anger that may be unleashed onto others. A standout scene features Lola disappearing at a clothing store, incensed at her mother’s resolve to buy her a dress. She calmly sits and watches as her mother and a salesgirl frantically search for her, and the fact that she easily explains away her vanishing speaks volumes about her mother’s lack of interest in her daughter. Lola’s object of affection is Jon, but her relationship with Charlie is more complex, particularly considering that Charlie’s sexual preferences are teasingly ambiguous throughout most of the story. The novel, which touches upon mature themes and showcases some colorful language, seems to be aimed at a young adult audience.  

Absorbing, warm and occasionally playful—the story of a young woman whose invisibility helps her to better see herself, and helps others to see who she really is.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1466368750

Page Count: 185

Publisher: Solstice

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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