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The Adventures of Invisible Boy

The Adventures of Invisible Boy


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Year Published

Book Review

Stanley is feeling awkward about being the new kid in town. But when he’s accidentally splashed with someone’s science project, he becomes the awkward new kid that nobody can see. (Who also just happens to now have a nemesis!)

Plot Summary

Stanley feels like just an average, awkward and relatively clumsy kid. But he’s also new in town. So not only does he have to drag himself out of bed and find something to wear in his still unpacked boxes of stuff, but then he must head off to school with a bunch of kids he doesn’t know.

Talk about awkward!

Oh, and it’s the day of the Science Fair, to boot. So Stanley’s helpful teacher, who doesn’t want him to feel left out, gives him a bunch of cast-off supplies and suggests that he just make something real quick while the other kids are taking their projects into the gym. Yeah, that’s gonna go well.

Meanwhile, another grade schooler, Gene, is not feeling awkward about his day or his Science Fair project at all. In fact, he’s feeling rather superior. He is superior, if you ask him. Gene is short for genius after all.

Gene hasn’t just dashed his project together like Stanley is doing, No, he’s worked months on his incredible STAIN remover. (Yes, all capitals, please. That’s how important this stuff is.) It uses covalent chemical bonds and results in neurons dissolving stain atoms. (Yeah, he knew you wouldn’t understand.)

Stanley knows he’s not going to win. So, after the science fair begins, Stanley decides to casually slip away from his ugly little robot exhibit (made of Styrofoam cup bits, popsicle sticks and glued-on shirt buttons) and see what the smart kids have concocted.

Stanley soon spots Gene’s exhibit. It looks pretty cool. But … I did mention that Stanley is awkward and clumsy, didn’t I? Well, before you can say Hey that beaker full of green goo looks cool, Stanley accidentally spills the goopy stuff everywhere. He spills it all over himself, too.

That’s when Gene’s STAIN remover becomes a STAN remover. Yep, deep down on a molecular level, Stanley is turned invisible.

Just like that, a new superhero is born: Invisible Boy!

OK, Stanley’s not really super. He’s just a fumbling new kid who no one can see. And he doesn’t even know how he can possibly become visible again.

But the idea of being “super” and helping people kinda appeals to Stanley. And a guy can dream, can’t he?

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

The book smiles at friendship and family. Stanley’s big sister is obsessed with the idea of ghosts and she believes their new house is haunted (though there’s no real evidence of that). However, when Stanley becomes invisible, he tosses a sheet over his head to make her think he’s “a ghost.”

Authority Roles

Stanley’s family supports and love him. His mom and dad become concerned when he goes missing for a night. And even his rather obnoxious older sister eagerly tries to find her lost brother.

Ultimately, Stanley admits everything that happened to him. But since his story is so outlandish, his parents think he might be a bit dehydrated.

In a way, that’s also applicable with Gene’s family. They may not be in favor of his inventions—since one in particular was a family disaster—but they try to stay in tune with him and encourage him in creative ways. (They get him LEGOs, for instance.)

We don’t see much of her, but Stanley’s new teacher is very nice and supportive, encouraging him to be creative and praising his efforts.

Profanity & Violence

Stanley is chased off by someone swinging a broom and by an angry dog in the story’s thumping, bumping mix. And he’s threatened by Gene’s dangerous inventions that include explosions, flamethrowers and laser beams.

It should be noted that Stanley wants to use his invisibility to help people. He saves a girl whose bike is crashing, for instance. Gene is turned invisible, too. But he actually uses his invisibility to cause trouble, such as painting on the sidewalk, covering a house in toilet paper and demolishing someone’s treehouse.

Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

What would you do if you suddenly became invisible? Would you try to help people or try to cause havoc? What do you think those choices say about Stanley and Gene?

Stanley also adopted an abandoned, and in some ways, abused cat. Does the way someone treats animals say something about their character? Did you know that the Bible talks about our treatment of animals? Take a look at Proverbs 12:10 and Matt. 6:25-26. What do you think those verses are saying about the way God sees animals?

Stanley and Gene are initially at odds with one another. In fact, you could say that Gene is Stanley’s nemesis. What changes? How did they become friends? Is there something there that you could think about with people in your life?

What’s your favorite part of this graphic novel and why?

Get free discussion question for books at

Additional Comments

This graphic novel is fun, active and filled with silly sci-fi situations. But the book also deals with the idea of working through your feelings of awkwardness, helping others and finding friendship with unexpected people.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not necessarily their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Review by Bob Hoose