November 24, 2009
Review: Invisible Lines by Mary Amato
For Trevor Musgrove, life isn't always bright and cheerful. His family just moved to Hedley Gardens, a tough housing project its residents call "Deadly Gardens." He goes to school with rich kids who have everything, while he has to work to afford soccer cleats. It doesn't help that the best athlete in school, Xander Pierce, happens to have it out for him. Mistakenly enrolled in an advanced science class taught by an odd but engaging teacher, Trevor is thrown headfirst into the world of natural science. Through all this, he will learn that life can spring up in the darkest places-- maybe even in Deadly Gardens.
When I first started reading this book I almost had to stop. Not because the writing was bad, but because the book starts out with a really sad event, and I didn't know if I wanted to read a book about such sad lives. But I made myself keep reading. I'm glad I did or I would've missed all the hope this story carries. Trevor is a main character that you can root for because he doesn't give up. He always has the hope and belief things will work out. There were times when I was like "Trevor, come on bud it's just not gonna happen", but he never took an answer he didn't like. He worked as hard as he could to make it what he wanted it to be. Although his ability to have hope was strained at times, it was always there. Several roadblocks are thrown up in front of him, he plowed on. I had to admire that! He kept me reading because I wanted to see him succeed. You will too.
After seeing the science teacher I work with wearing a t-shirt with mushrooms and their scientific names, I passed the book on to him. Trevor is placed in an advanced science class where the instructor has them searching for and learning about mushrooms. For this class he has to keep a field journal. That teacher and journal help Trevor go beyond what might normally be expected of him. After I told the science teacher I work with about this, he was really excited to read it. I think he'll like it.
Final Thought: A great book for middle schoolers about never believing people when they tell you your dreams aren't possible.
Best for ages: 11-14 There are a few parts of the book that might be too serious for the younger kids.