Invisible Inkling, by Emily Jenkins

Invisible Inkling

“A thing about me is, I have an overbusy imagination. Everyone says so.
And it’s true. I’m not saying I don’t.
I imagine airplanes that argue with their pilots, drinks that change the color of your skin, and aliens who study human beings in science labs–all when I’m supposed to be doing something else.
Like cleaning my room.
Or listening.
Yeah.                                                                                                                                                              But here’s the thing about the invisible bandapat who’s been living in my laundry basket. He is not imaginary. Inkling is as real as you, or me. Or the Great Wall of China.”

Sometimes I think that “Overbusy imagination” is a perfect description of myself, though if I just limited my wonderings to such exciting things as aliens, talking planes and such it would be better. In Emily Jenkin’s upcoming book our hero Hank, who goes by his last name Wolowitz, deals with many of the challenges of a typical childhood, when his friend moves out before the start of school. His family has money trouble, and he is plagued by a bully. When he discovers a mysterious, furry, yet invisible creature in his family’s ice cream parlor it helps distract him from his worries.

Overall, this is an enjoyable read, perfect for those 2-3 graders who are worried about school, friends, and bullies. Release is scheduled for 4/26/2011.

As a librarian, I can wonder if the treatment of bullies in this book is realistic or appropriate, but I think kids will relish the thought that they could defeat a bully. While I hope that kids don’t take away the idea that every single person they talk to about being bothered by a bully will either deny that it is happening, blame them for being bullied, or offer excuses for the bully, the book doesn’t seem to support these as what should happen, just what does happen.

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4 responses to “Invisible Inkling, by Emily Jenkins

  1. I reviewed Invisible Inkling on my blog today, and found your blog when I searched Google for other reviews of the book.

    I’m usually very critical of the way bullying is portrayed in children’s books, but I felt like Invisible Inkling got it absolutely right. Obviously, the experience of being bullied isn’t the same for everyone, but when I was picked on as a kid, the adults in my school reacted to me exactly as they do to Hank in this book. It’s not something to be applauded, obviously, and I agree that I don’t think the author is promoting it; she’s just relaying what happened in this particular instance. But I was just so pleased to see an author who was willing to portray adults as part of the problem, instead of part of the solution. I would have been thrilled to have this book as a kid, and I think it will validate the experiences that a lot of kids have. I don’t think the treatment of the bullies in this book was all that appropriate, but I do think, sadly, that it was realistic.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I agree that the situation depicted here as far as bullying is very accurate in how it has been and often still is. At the same time I’m thinking things are, hopefully, changing–if not that teachers can actually do something about bullying, but that they at least will take accusations more seriously.

  3. I get really frustrated sometimes with my after school hanging out crowd because, while I see them for a couple hours every day after school, I don’t see them enough to really know what’s going on. Are they just teasing each other or are they bullying? Are they tattling to get someone in trouble because they had a spat earlier or are they really wanting help? Argh!

  4. Pingback: Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories | Books, Dogs, and Frogs

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