The Mostly Invisible Boy (Casey Grimes book 1) by AJ Vanderhorst – Blog Tour

A huge thanks to Dave and crew over at #TheWriteReads for organising this book tour and to AJ Vanderhorst for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Length: 298 Pages

Publishing: 27th May 2021

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B094DMXWJW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57981670

Synopsis

Eleven-year-old Casey is stubbornly friendly, but he’s eternally the new kid at Vintage Woods Middle School. Students look right through him—and they’re not faking. Casey doesn’t know why he’s mostly-invisible, but when he scales a colossal oak, he discovers a fortress in its branches. The forgotten sentry tree marks the border between his safe, suburban life and a fierce frontier.

Casey and his little sister Gloria infiltrate Sylvan Woods, a secret forest society devoted to ancient, wild things. Sky-high footpaths. Survival sewing. Monster control. Shockingly, people here actually see Casey—but being seen isn’t enough. He wants to belong.

Keeping his identity hidden–while struggling to prove he fits–is hard enough, but Butcher Beasts have returned to Sylvan Woods after a hundred years. Trickery is under siege. As the monsters close in, and the fearsome Sylvan Watch hunts Casey down, he and his newfound friends must unearth abandoned magic, buried at the forest’s roots…or be devoured along with everyone else, Sylvans and civilians alike.

A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book with all the monsters kids could ever hope for.

My Thoughts

The Mostly Invisible Boy is a sweet, fun book with a whole lot of energy.  It moves at such a fast pace and I would have liked a little more detail and more of it but it’s a great adventure story that middle grade ages (8-12 ish) will delight in (and of course some older children like myself).

I think Casey has a lot of qualities that children can relate to.  Most children feel invisible and lonely at some point in their lives.  For poor Casey though it’s less figurative and more real.  He is actually invisible most of the time.  Casey loves to explore and climb though and finds a huge tree full of things to explore. And so begins a weird and wonderful adventure of a lifetime.

I love the forest world (Sylvan) that Vanderhorst has created.  Huge trees that connect to different places, have secret closets and is full of interesting resources.  A special world that is full of wonder, new people and also danger in the form of monsters and beasts.  The Sylvan world is one that children dream of exploring and now they can through the eyes of Casey.

I loved the character of Casey, how he found solace with nature and in the trees but also how he protected and interacted with his younger sister.  Their relationship was such a positive one throughout the book.  I enjoyed witnessing Casey find his place in life and a purpose and loved how he came out of his shell in the Sylvan world.  There are many other quirky characters throughout this book making it such a interesting and creative read.

A great little middle grade novel and loads of fun to read.  Descriptive and creative and extremely enjoyable.

Author Bio – AJ Vanderhorst

AJ Vanderhorst has had many jobs, including journalist, paramedic, escape artist, and baby whisperer. One time in fifth grade, he built a traffic-stopping fort in a huge oak tree, using only branches and imagination, and slept there for a week.

Now he and his wife live in a woodsy house with their proteges and a ridiculous number of pets, including a turtle with a taste for human toes. This makes AJ an expert on wild, dangerous things—invisibility spells, butcher beasts, hungry kids, you get the idea.

He is the only author in the world who enjoys pickup basketball and enormous bonfires, preferably not at the same time. He and his family have drawn up several blueprints for their future tree castle. Visit AJ online at ajvanderhorst.com.

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