________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 18 . . . . May 7, 1999

cover The Invisible Harry.

Marthe Jocelyn. Illustrated by Abby Carter.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 1998.
128 pp., cloth, $14.99.
ISBN 0-88776-467-3.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.
Review by Betsy Fraser.

*** /4


I rubbed my nose between Harry's ears and gave the little speckled nose a goodbye kiss. Then, I sat back on my heels, giving Jody room to work. She was swift and efficient. Using toilet paper as a tool, she daubed powder on the puppy's head, between his ears, and then down his body and tail.

Within seconds, he went all shimmery, just the way it had been with me. It was like I was wearing my mom's reading glasses. And a minute later, he was gone, and we were looking at Dad's royal blue bathroom carpet where my new pet used to be.

inside picture Billie Stoner wants a pet almost as badly as her mother wants to keep her from getting a pet. Billie doesn't know what to do when her scientist friend Jody calls to tell her that their family dog has had puppies. She would love to have one, but her mother refuses. Jody has invented a powder that turns whatever it touches invisible: what would happen if Billie's mother couldn't see her dog? Surely, she thinks, having an invisible pet would be acceptable to her mother. That is the start of the fun. Billie soon finds out that she still has to feed, exercise and clean up after her new pet. She can't leave him at home, and her classroom nemesis, Alyssa, suspects that something strange is going on. Will she be able to keep people from finding out about him and taking him away from her?

      This is an appealing, humorous book. It is told in first person, through the lively 11-year-old Billie. Billie ends up dealing with all of the tasks associated with owning a pet, which are made even more complicated by Harry's invisibility. This makes the book somewhat different from other books dealing with invisible and imaginary pets. The beginning of the book could be a little confusing to readers who are not familiar with Jocelyn's first book, The Invisible Day, since Billie and Jody are obviously different ages and the relationship between them is not immediately explained. Billie does learn from her mistakes, and the book reaches a satisfactory conclusion for all.


Betsy Fraser is a librarian with the Calgary Public Library.

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ISSN 1201-9364