Invisible Emmie Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-09 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 7 user ratings

"Invisible emmie, by Terri Libenson, is a great book for those readers who liked Smile, Sisters, Drama by Raina Telgemeier. It is a graphic novel along the lines of Diary of a Wimpy Kid where there is a mix of text and graphics rather than the more traditional comic style with individual panels. The story is written in first person, with some sections narrated by seventh grade Emmie Douglass, and some narrated by another seventh grader named Katie.

Emmie Douglass feels invisible. She comes from a loving family, but her brother and sister are a lot older and have been gone off to college for two years already. Her parents are busy with their careers, and so she is alone a lot. At school, it is even worse. She has one best friend, Brianna, with whom she can relax and be herself with, but other than Brianna, nobody seems to notice her--especially not Tyler Ross, the boy she is crushing on. I liked Emmie, and could relate to her in a lot of ways--having been a quiet rather shy kid myself.

Katie, on the other hand, I didn't find nearly as interesting. She's not a mean person, but she is popular, sporty, and has awesome parents who run a candy business from home. She has lots of friends and the boy she is interested in seems to like her in return. I found her character rather flat and maybe a bit hard to believe--although that might just be because my experience of middle school was much, much different than hers.

The story starts a little slow, but it picks up when when Emmie and Brianna decide to write love notes--goofy, over-the-top love notes--to their crushes. Not that they are going to send them, but just to have fun. Brianna's note is super funny, but Emmie's actually turns out pretty good. The bell rings and Emmie shoves the notes into her binder as they head out of the cafeteria--but (predictably) her note falls out of the binder and is found by Joe, the class jokester.

Although the story line is somewhat predictable, many of the scenes ring true for middle school, and there is enough tension to pull the reader along to the end of the book. Despite the twist at the end feeling a bit contrived, many students will relate to Emmie and find encouragement as she learns and grows.
" said.

"This book is a lot of fun and a great read for those around the middle grades (5-8). It's a good recommendation for those who like Raina Telgemeier.

Here's what I like about this book: I enjoyed the way the author alternates the two different middle school characters with different artwork and text to represent their personalities. Katie, the popular girl, has brighter-than-life, fun illustrations. While, Emmie's chapters feature more subdued colors, less detail, and more text (inner dialogue?). I also enjoyed the surprise conclusion! You'll have to read it to find out.

I have two middle grade daughters and feel that this is a good representation of middle school life. In particular, Emmie reminds me of one of my daughters who also has social anxieties and struggles with fitting in at school. Of course I recommended her read it and she also enjoyed this book. I think this is an inspiring book for kids who feel like they don't quite fit in. I just wish they could all find their voice like Emmie did!
" said.

" Such a fun and clever graphic novel about a girl who thought herself invisible in the walls of her middle school and how she finds herself in the midst of an unfortunate situation when a note she wrote gets into the wrong hands. My kids loved it and so did I. Can't wait for more by this author. " said.

" Such a fantastic new graphic novel. Will be recommending this one to all my students who are fans of Raina Telgeimeier. Love the character and seeing her blossom, so glad I was able to snag this one at ALA to read. " said.

" This was just okay - I think it felt a little flat because I read it after another graphic novel about middle school (Brave, by Svetlana Chmakova) which I loved and this just didn't quite measure up. The twist at the end didn't quite work for me either. I just wanted to like this a lot more than I did. " said.

"I was really looking forward to this book, and I was so happy when my pre-order got delivered yesterday!

Thankfully, I have a mostly free day today, so I could read it.

It was really good, but it was also confusing. I had a suspicion about Katie, but after a while I wasn't sure if my suspicion was right. I was definitely interested in this girl, and I was hoping for her to become friends with Emmie.
(view spoiler)" said.

"Emmie is not comfortable in middle school-- she has curly hair, is a late bloomer, and is artistic. She tries to stay under everyone's radar. In alternating chapters, we also meet Kate, who is fabulous, has everyone as a friend, and is everything Emmie is not. Emmie does have one friend, Brianna, but even that relationship is rocky. Her parents are busy, school makes her anxious, and the boy on whom she has a crush, Tyler, asks out Kate! Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, a poem she has written about Tyler falls out of her notebook and picked up by the obnoxious Joseph, and everyone starts to make fun of her. Can Kate help Emmie to stand up for herself?

This book will be immediately popular because of the format. Kate's chapters are in comic strip form, while Emmie's are in Notebook novel form. Not only that, but it is filled with cringe worthy moments, and middle school students all experience some of these, no matter how "popular" they are! Reading about similar things in books makes their own problems seem less severe.

It was interesting that while Emmie felt that her own image left something to be desired, she still refereed to her classmates in unflattering terms like Smelly Kid and Brainiacs (complete with propeller beanies). Kate's depiction is a bit over the top, but we eventually find out why that is. It was nice to see Emmie grow and get over her anxiety, and the character of Tyler was nicely done.

Middle school can be difficult, but it helps if it can be approached with some humor. Invisible Emmie is a great choice for readers who like middle school stories about students struggling to fit in that are combined with pictures. Read alikes for this include Vivat's Frazzled, Wells' Mackenzie Blue, and Barshaw's Ellie McDoodle.

Why do all of the shy, withdrawn middle school characters have to have curly hair, are underdeveloped, and have artistic tendencies? Some variety would be nice. Also not overly wild about Emmie's anxiety. She deals with it better than some characters in books, but middle school is not THAT hard.
" said.

" I thought it was just blah. The character never really won my sympathies nor did I hate her. The title is perfect for this book because it's not really bad but it's not good either, it could easily be invisible. However it would probably still appeal to Big Nate/Diary of a Wimpy Kid/Dork Diaries fans or graphic novel readers to cross over to novels, as it is 50% text and 50% comics and little drawings. " said.

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