Tuesday, 13 May 2014


by Marcus Sedgwick
384 pp. Orion £9.99. (Ages 11 and up)


Rating: ? Stars

    How do writers describe the world in the books that you read? Take a look at a book you are reading, or have read recently and find a description of a person, place or thing. I would bet in most cases that the writer notes how things would look if you could be there and see what the writer describes. How often do the books you read have descriptions of the smell, feel, and sound of things? If you can see and have normal vision then imagine if you did not or were even born blind. What would it be like? How would a writer describe the world from the perspective of a person with a visual impairment?
    Marcus Sedgwick, author of She is Not Invisible, performs several incredible feats of writing. For example, although he is a sighted person himself, he takes on the perspective of not being able to see and instead describes the world through the other senses. Most impressively, like a magician, he performs this and other deeds without drawing attention to them. I was particularly moved by a few passages that inspired the title. In those, the main character (described by my reviewing partner below) talks about how sighted people seem to be the ones who are visually impaired because they do not truly see what and who are around them. Are there people you do not see? Are you paying attention to the way the world smells, feels and sounds? That’s a dad’s perspective on the book; here is a daughter’s:
    This book was more interesting than other books because it was a bit like a puzzle. It was like a puzzle because Laureth (the main character) had a father with a favourite number that he sees everywhere. Is it coincidence, or is the universe trying to tell him something? This book was also interesting because as the main character was blind and, because the story was written in first person, the writer couldn't describe how anything looked, only how it felt, smelt, sounded and tasted.
    This book was about a blind girl called Laureth and her little brother Benjamin. The main plot of the story was that her father had mysteriously disappeared in New York, so, while her mother was away, she took her little brother to New York to look for him. While there she had to save her father’s safe from burglars and do lots of other adventurous things before finally finding him.
    My favourite character was definitely Laureth because she was very brave and strong minded. I like how she became so courageous because she was blind and she did not want anything or anyone to hold her back. I think she shows that it doesn't matter if you are blind, deaf or unable to speak, you can still do anything you want.
    I think all ages should either read, or have this book read to them. However it might be best for people 10-years-old or older to understand the complexities of coincidence and the thoughts of a teenager.
also on the Guardian Children's Books Site