This book has been haunting me. I finished it a couple of days ago but was compelled to go back and reread it.
Brian, the invisible boy, doesn't take up much space. He is overlooked by his teacher and his classmates. He isn't picked for sports teams. He doesn't get invited to birthday parties.
Unbeknownst to all of them, Brian has an incredible imagination and is a gifted artist.
Then Justin, a new kid, comes to school and is picked on by other students. Brian wonders, "which is worse - being laughed at or feeling invisible."
Out of kindness Brian writes a note to Justin. A new friendship blossoms.
Patrice Barton's illustrations adroitly emphasize Trudy Ludwig's text. Together they imprint a memory in the reader. Brian is portrayed almost as an apparition in black and white drawings while the rest of the world is in full color. As Justin begins to see him, Brian's colors are exposed and he gradually becomes visible to everyone.
I'm not certain why this book resonated at such a visceral level. I know that I have had kids like Brian in my classroom over the years, and at times in my life I have felt invisible - maybe all of us have - and this is why it is such a profound story.