Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato and Illustrated by Antonio Caparo

Invisible Lines is the third book I've read by Mary Amato. The first was The Naked Mole Rat Letters, and the second was The Word Eater. I have enjoyed all three of these books, so Mary Amato makes it onto my trusted author list meaning I'll read more by her.

Invisible Lines was published in 2009, and Amato weaves Trevor's story in her wonderful story teller way. Trevor is in seventh grade, and he has just moved into a bad part of town in a dump of an apartment with his mom, his two year-old sister, and five year-old brother. His father is in prison, and his mother is trying her best to pay the rent and keep food on the table. Trevor has to tend when he gets home from school, so his mother can work.

What Trevor really wants to do is to play soccer, but the team he wants to play on is too expensive. When another soccer player gets jealous of Trevor's skills, Trevor becomes his victim and is accused of a crime.

Amato weaves Trevor's love of soccer, art, and his ability to learn from his mother into a story that includes a baby found in a dumpster, mushrooms and the ecosystem, friends, bullies, siblings, and growth into this story. I think my own siblings would enjoy this book.

I love the relationships in this story. Trevor's mom was a teen mother who didn't finish high school, yet she is trying hard to make a better life for her children. The characters felt real. The dialog felt real. I cried for the mother trying to muster the courage to go see the school principal as I was a high school drop who didn't finish high school until my oldest child was ten years-old. I knew what Trevor and his mother felt like having him be the child care provider as I was both the child and mother in that situation. I understood the sacrifices they had to make and how worthless they felt when others looked down on them.

This is a many layered story, and to be honest, I'd love to see a sequel to this book. I loved the characters and was sad to see the story end even though it felt complete. I love how the title refers to the invisible lines that connect all of humanity including nature.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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