Reviews /

The Adventures of Invisible Boy

Authored by Doogie Horner
Illustrated by Doogie Horner
Published by Scholastic

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A book arriving in the post is always a treat. Somehow even more so when it’s a graphic novel you haven’t heard of before. we have the origin story. The Adventures of Invisible Boy by Doogie Horner follows the principles of most superhero stories and is the first in the series so we have the origin story: we are introduced to a super villain, a search for an antidote, and coming to terms with a new way of life.

This familiarity will tick all the boxes for a lot of readers, with plenty of surprises too. Stanley moves into a new house in a new town. Worrying about fitting in and making friends on his first day of school, he is full of nerves and after a science fair mishap, he becomes invisible. Meanwhile, Eugene plays the part of the super villain. He loves inventing all sorts of interesting and eccentric contraptions in secret from his parents. His latest invention, a stain remover, worked a little too well and both boys are now invisible. Angry he lost the science fair, Eugene takes his anger out on unsuspecting people around town. The two enemies do eventually work together to find an antidote, but also sets up plenty of opportunity for future stories.

This is a book for all ages, but it would appeal to Year 3, 4 and 5 the most. It’s exciting, colourful, has a good story (very important) and is funny. The humour is something that stands out. Most graphic novels for this age group rely on clever, and not so clever, puns and other wordplay. This is fine, but it can become grating if this is the only aspect to a funny book. I found the humour in Invisible Boy to be more subtle and character based. While there is wordplay, it’s reigned in to the chapter titles. During the second chapter, Stanley, gets on the school bus still in a bush he’s hiding in. It’s all very nonchalant and the driver remarks that it must be bring-a-bush-to-school-day.

If you wanted to read it from a more serious viewpoint, there are themes of family, identity, anxiety. These are all balanced nicely with the plot so it doesn’t feel like it was written for any purpose but to be enjoyed. I’m looking forward to more titles in this series, and I know children will be adding this series to their other graphic novel favourites.