Title: The Mostly Invisible Boy
Author: A.J. Vanderhorst
Publication Date: May 27, 2021
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Number of Pages: 298
Summary: From Goodreads: Eleven-year-old Casey is stubbornly friendly, but he’s eternally the new kid at Vintage Woods Middle School. Students look right through him—and they’re not faking. Casey doesn’t know why he’s mostly-invisible, but when he scales a colossal oak, he discovers a fortress in its branches. The forgotten sentry tree marks the border between his safe, suburban life and a fierce frontier.
Casey and his little sister Gloria infiltrate Sylvan Woods, a secret forest society devoted to ancient, wild things. Sky-high footpaths. Survival sewing. Monster control. Shockingly, people here actually see Casey—but being seen isn’t enough. He wants to belong.
Keeping his identity hidden–while struggling to prove he fits–is hard enough, but Butcher Beasts have returned to Sylvan Woods after a hundred years. Trickery is under siege. As the monsters close in, and the fearsome Sylvan Watch hunts Casey down, he and his newfound friends must unearth abandoned magic, buried at the forest’s roots…or be devoured along with everyone else, Sylvans and civilians alike.
A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book with all the monsters kids could ever hope for.
Review: Thank you to The Write Reads for organizing and inviting me to participate in this blog tour. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Casey Grimes is invisible, well, mostly invisible. Since he moved to his new home and started at a new school, people can’t see him, and this causes him to be pretty lonely. His little sister, Gloria, is in the same boat, though she’s a bit better at pretending to be happy. Then, on the last day of school, his parents announce that they’re going on a last-minute vacation and that Ms. Jones, a travelling babysitter, will be taking care of them for the next week. What follows is a magical, middle-grade adventure, full of terrifying creatures, ancient trees, and a whole new world to explore.
My favourite thing about this book was the sibling relationship between Casey and Gloria. Casey and Gloria have such an amazing bond, and reading about them coming together, sticking together, fighting together, and protecting each other, made me very happy.
In general, I loved the characters in this book. I loved Casey and Gloria, and my heart broke for them at the beginning of the book. I spent the entire book rooting for them to succeed at the adventure they were going on together. I thought Luci was a bit mysterious, but I liked her a lot. I thought that Robert was a bit of a pain, but I grew to like him eventually. As far as Ms. Jones goes, I adore her, and I want to know everything about her and her travelling babysitting career.
As far as the story goes, I loved the premise of it, and I think secret forest societies are awesome. I loved how important the trees were to the story, and to me, that makes this book stand out. I loved the hints of magic, the terrifying creatures, and I want to learn everything I can about Sylvan Woods. I also loved the idea of a secret, magical world, being just outside of your backyard.
One very minor downside to this book was there were some moments where the story got a bit jumpy. Fortunately, once I got sucked into the magic of the Sylvan Woods, I barely noticed any of the jumpings.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable middle-grade adventure. I definitely want to read the sequel, and I highly recommend this book to people who want a little bit of monster fighting and magical, tree-filled adventure in their lives.
Rating: 4 Stars