Title: Invisible Lines
Author: Mary Amato
Publisher: Egmont USA
Concepts: poverty, jobs, scarcity, wealth, class
Review: With his dad in jail, Trevor and his mom and siblings have experienced tough times trying to make ends meet. Having to move into the Hedley Gardens housing project, otherwise known as Deadly Gardens, certainly represented a big set-back. Despite the hardships his family faced, Trevor felt determined to have a good year, and he would draw on all his talents to make that happen at his new school.
As quick on his feet as he was with his tongue, Trevor earned a spot on the soccer team, and his sense of humor made him a hit with the classmates he most wanted to impress. But Trevor struggled to meet the expectations placed on him to do his schoolwork, play on the team, and babysit for his siblings while his mom looked for work. Adding to the stress were issues brought on by class differences: the school’s location in a wealthy neighborhood meant tensions between the students from Deadly Gardens and the rich kids, as well as expectations of purchasing expensive school and sports supplies that Trevor’s mom could ill afford.
Invisible Lines is an outstanding book that takes a child’s eye view to a number of social problems not commonly addressed in youth novels, including domestic violence, child abandonment, and theft. The main character’s sense of humor and elaborate sketches add a refreshingly light touch, while his experiences on the soccer field and in the science classroom add to the excitement. With an interesting story wrapped around important lessons about class, this book should have a broad appeal.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children