Invisible Emmie

Terri Libenson. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $10.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-248493-2
In her first children’s book, cartoonist Libenson (The Pajama Diaries) offers strikingly different visions of seventh grade through two very dissimilar narrators. School is stressful for shy, quiet Emmie; Katie, meanwhile, is breezily popular, confident, and beautiful. With frizzy hair and hunched shoulders, Emmie shows up in tiny vignettes, sandwiched between blocks of text, that make her look as small and insignificant as she feels. Katie’s chapters, by contrast, are big, splashy panels that reflect her outgoing personality (“I’m just your average teenage girl,” she says after being offered movie roles and the crown of homecoming queen). Emmie and Katie share a crush on classmate Tyler, and when a sappy love note Emmie writes to Tyler as a joke is made public, Emmie is humiliated. Katie rises to her defense, but Emmie eventually learns to speak up for herself, realizing that embarrassment isn’t the end of the world and being social isn’t as impossible as she thought. A well-executed twist will have readers flipping back to see what they missed while cheering the strides made by Libenson’s no-longer-invisible heroine. Ages 8–12. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/06/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-248495-6
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-06-248494-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1769-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268223-9
Prebound-Glued - 208 pages - 978-0-606-40069-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1770-6
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