Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness.Read more...
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Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.
- ISBN-13: 9781596438019
- ISBN-10: 1596438010
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publish Date: April 2014
- Page Count: 224
- Reading Level: Ages 12-17
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Printz-winner Sedgwick (Midwinterblood) again demonstrates his remarkable versatility, trading the generations-spanning horrors of his recent books for an equally tense contemporary story about coincidence, obsession, and the ways in which we see the world. When 16-year-old Laureth Peak learns that a notebook belonging to her father, a well-known author, has surfaced in New York City, she’s sure something is wrong. Using one of her mother’s credit cards, she buys plane tickets for herself and her younger brother, Benjamin, and flies from London to J.F.K., embarking on a search that takes them across three boroughs. Why would Laureth involve seven-year-old Benjamin in such a risky, impulsive trip? Because she needs him: she’s blind. As the mystery builds, Sedgwick includes increasingly frenzied excerpts from Laureth’s father’s notebook to introduce concepts like apophenia, numinousness, and synchronicity, which are rattling around his brain. Through questions of what—if anything—coincidences mean and a careful and acute account of Laureth’s experience of the world (including the brave, hardened exterior she maintains to keep from becoming invisible in others’ eyes), Sedgwick challenges readers to rethink how they look at life itself. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
The young leading the blind
BookPage Teen Top Pick, May 2014
When 16-year-old Laureth receives an email stating that her writer father’s notebook (which he’s never without) has been found in New York, rather than in Switzerland or Austria (where she thought he was), she suspects that something very bad has happened to her dad. Her mother doesn’t seem to care about the missing notebook, or about her father’s inability to return voicemails. So Laureth takes matters into her own hands, enlisting her 7-year-old brother Benjamin (and his inseparable stuffed raven named Stan) to help her travel from London to New York in search of their father.
Why does she need her younger brother’s help? Because Laureth is blind, and although she can quite capably navigate the landmarks of her home, school and neighborhood, she knows she can’t negotiate international travel on her own without seeming helpless or vulnerable—the very last things she wants to be.
Soon Laureth and Benjamin are involved in a tense and risky search. Even after they find their dad’s notebook, which is filled with increasingly cryptic and disordered notes about the power and limits of coincidence, they can’t find the man himself—and it appears they may not be the only ones trying to track down his trail.
Sedgwick’s remarkable novel is reminiscent of Siobhan Dowd’s The London Eye Mystery in its sensitive and perceptive portrayal of difference, as well as its recognition that all kinds of people can investigate mysteries and solve problems. The narration from Laureth’s point of view manages to be rich and detailed without relying on visual descriptions. Most importantly, Laureth is depicted as a complex and vibrant character quite apart from her blindness, a fully realized person for whom courage is a daily decision rather than an extraordinary virtue. She Is Not Invisible is not only a compelling thriller; it’s also a portrayal of disability that is neither patronizing nor aggrandizing, but rather exquisitely sympathetic and true.