Title: Invisible Girl
Author: Mary Hanlon Stone
Publisher: Philomel Books
Concepts: wealth, money, poverty, scarcity, class
Review: Stephanie, getting ready to start ninth grade in Boston, certainly did not want to move to Los Angeles, but she had no choice. Her abusive mother had abandoned her, and her father felt powerless in coping with the aftermath; Stephanie would do better, he thought, in the care of some friends of the family out in California.
Financially, this new family indeed could provide more than Stephanie had ever imagined, with their enormous mansion, lavish food, full-time paid help, sparkling pool, and all sorts of other amenities. Yet wealth brought its problems, particularly when the family’s teenage daughter, Annie, used her upper class upbringing to mock Stephanie’s clothing and background. It took another new girl who threatened Annie’s dominant position in the clique of wealthy blond girls for Stephanie to stop hiding, establish her own identity, and begin the healing process.
Because the book deals with issues of child abuse and alcohol abuse, it is targeted more toward readers who are mature enough to handle such themes. That said, this new novel provides a fascinating look at the tensions that class differences can evoke among young people.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children