Five different students have yet to complete their community service for a school offense and must explain why (as well as what they did) to their principal. Thus, these five seemingly socially invisible kids each share from their perspectives how they got in trouble — and readers are definitely in for a ride. There’s George, the smart kid who Latino, but can’t speak Spanish; Sara, the loner; Dayara, the tough kid, Miguel, the baseball player; and Nico, the rich kid. The story is told in Spanish and English.
This was a really engaging story told from five different perspectives as the kids narrated why they got in trouble in the first place and revealed the challenges they were individually facing at home. One of them is dyslexic and her struggles with schoolwork manifest a lot in her angry demeanor. Another is trying to stay in school despite no longer living in the district and yet another is missing their family still in Mexico.
Beyond the kids’ struggles, their actions also shed light on a pressing problem: homelessness. They get in trouble when they try to offer help to a homeless woman and things get complicated.
The author highlights the overarching theme that things aren’t always as they seem and that it’s easy to box people in based on their race and ethnicity — but really, people are surprising and tend to defy the odds. I loved the illustrations in this graphic novel, and it definitely increased my enjoyment of the story.
Invisible is a powerful, heartwarming graphic novel about immigration, homelessness, racism, and finding your tribe. Like Vrabel’s The Reckless Club, this The Breakfast Club retelling features five unique characters forced into a friendship who discover that they’re more than they give themselves credit for. If you love bilingual stories with multiple narrators, you’ll enjoy this new graphic novel.