The Secret of Invisibility - John C. Ralston

No one agreed about what had happened to him, and few of the books seemed to take him seriously, so I didn't think I was learning much. I only had about three facts that could be counted on:
  • He'd lived in my new house with his cat, "Wells."
  • He'd explored the world.
  • He'd disappeared.

We found The Secret of Invisibility at the Raven Bookstore while we were in Lawrence, and decided to pick it up. The author, John Ralston, lives in Lawrence and the story takes place there (although in a sort of fictionalized version of it), so that sounded kind of fun. And who hasn't dreamed of being invisible?

Thomas Wax just moved to Lawrence from Kansas City with his family, and they've moved into the former home of a Professor Quay, an explorer who mysteriously vanished some years ago. He eventually finds a scroll which leads him and his new friend Fred to the secret of invisibility. After having some fun being invisible, though, there's a bit of adventure when they're linked to a string of jewel robberies that have been taking place in broad daylight.

It's a fun book, and Ralston plays with the idea of kids who are virtually invisible, the ones that you don't notice even when they're standing right in front of you. There were parts of the ending that I could see coming, but also a few twists (and lessons) that I didn't expect.

I also thought Ralston did a decent job of writing from Thomas' perspective. There are lots of books which are supposedly narrated by kids but really don't seem like something a kid would have said. Others go too far in the other direction, using either poor grammar or oversimplified sentences. Ralston strikes a balance there by making Thomas a fairly bright kid but not immediately recognizing certain things, either.

Robyn read this one to Ridley, who really enjoyed it (even the couple spookier bits), and then I read it myself afterward. It's worth checking out. (I wrote a review on GeekDad as well.)

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 14, 2010 | Comments (0)


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