|| Book Review || The Mostly Invisible Boy (Casey Grimes #1) by A.J. Vanderhorst ||
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: May 27th 2021
Thank you so much to Dave at TheWriteReads for organising the tour and the author and publisher for providing a gifted digital copy of the book for me to read and review.
This is an absolutely adorable middle grade adventure with lots of tree climbing, a secret forest community and of course monsters to be dealt with!
Casey Grimes is 11 years old and he is invisible to the world pretty much all the time. The bus doesn’t stop to pick him up, the kids at school see right through him and like any child he just wants to be seen.
Casey loves to climb trees and is fascinated by the forest by his house. One day Casey discovers a giant oak tree that he has never seen before. There is something special about the tree that he can’t put his finger on but he is determined that he has to climb it and find out.
Upon reaching the top he discovers a whole new world that he never even imagined existed. A community of forest dwellers known as Sylvans who protect civilians like him from the monsters that dwell in the woods.
Casey, upon telling his little sister Gloria about this magical place that he has found ends up discovering that she is just as invisible as he is, a very special bond is formed between the two siblings and they climb the huge oak together. This then leads to meeting a Sylvan called Luci and they all become fast friends and have wild adventures together.
This book is amazing for children who want to lose themselves in another world, who enjoy nature and tree climbing and fighting monsters!
I loved the relationships between all the main characters. I found them all to be very sweet, believable and very relatable for children and even adults alike. Casey’s journey to finding a place where he feels he truly belongs is one I think many can enjoy.
It is heartfelt, funny and very fast paced!
The pacing is my main criticism when it comes to this book. I would have loved to explore this forest world a lot more as I think there is so much more to see, learn about and enjoy. I didn’t like how the book seemed to jump in time from one paragraph to the next without any warning. It left me feeling like I had somehow missed something. This is a common thing with MG books that I have read in the past though but it is something that bugged me so I felt it was worth a mention.
I was also not at all keen on Casey’s parents and the strange nanny. None of these characters or the way they behaved made any sense to me at all.
Overall I found the book charming and very typical of middle grade stories in general. It was an enjoyable, fast read that I would recommend.
About the Author
AJ Vanderhorst has had many jobs, including journalist, paramedic, escape artist, and baby whisperer. One time in fifth grade, he built a traffic-stopping fort in a huge oak tree, using only branches and imagination, and slept there for a week.
Now he and his wife live in a woodsy house with their proteges and a ridiculous number of pets, including a turtle with a taste for human toes. This makes AJ an expert on wild, dangerous things—invisibility spells, butcher beasts, hungry kids, you get the idea.
He is the only author in the world who enjoys pickup basketball and enormous bonfires, preferably not at the same time. He and his family have drawn up several blueprints for their future tree castle. Visit AJ online at ajvanderhorst.com.