cover image The Invisible Day

The Invisible Day

Marthe Jocelyn. Dutton Books, $15.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45908-8

Kept on a short leash by her overprotective mother, New Yorker Billie longs for a little breathing room: ""My only personal territory is the top bunk. I don't bother to keep a diary because I have no private life to record."" The 10-year-old gets more privacy than she bargains for, however, when a magic powder she finds in a cosmetic bag left in Central Park turns her invisible for a day. Billie at first delights in the advantages of not being seen. She can swipe snacks from a convenience store, ride the subway for free and even stand next to a starlet during the filming of a movie. Needless to say, there's also a downside to Billie's disappearing act. She has no way of reporting the pickpocket she spies stealing a woman's wallet, and when she needs some comfort, she cannot get a hug from her mother. By afternoon, Billie is ready for an antidote--after some false starts, she has only to call the phone number that came with the magic powder. First-time author Jocelyn does not dwell on a message nor does she keep her readers in suspense very long before presenting no-fail remedies for her protagonist's various crises. The fun of this whimsical, high-spirited novel comes in following Billie's great adventure and tasting her freedom from scrutiny. A sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)