________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 10. . . . January, 2003

cover The Invisible Enemy.

Marthe Jocelyn. Illustrated by Abby Carter.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2002.
144 pp., cloth, $15.99.
ISBN 0-88776-585-8.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Kristin Butcher.

*** /4


I stood there like a dolt, hating her. Of course, if I use the word hate, my mother says it's as bad as swearing, and I should put cent cents in the Bad Word Jar.

Alyssa has been in my class every year from kindergarten right up till now. In kindergarten, she bit me so hard her teeth made marks through my sweater. Now she bites just with words. She's so mean to Hubert, I could spit. Last year she stole his idea for the fifth-grade project and then just copied her work out of books, totally cheating.

Recently I've had a couple of good swipes at revenge, thanks to having a secret weapon. But it's so secret that Alyssa's not sure I'm to blame, and what's the fun in that? If I added up all the ten-centses I've spent on hating her, I'd have enough money to buy my own portable CD player.

Billie Stoner and her good friend, Hubert, are back. And though they're in the sixth grade now, Billie's invisibility powder is still causing them problems. This time the victim is Billie's sworn enemy, Alyssa, who becomes invisible when she steals Billie's makeup bag and tries out its contents. There is nothing Billie would like better than to see - or in this case, not see - Alyssa suffer, but conscience and compassion get the better of Billie, and with the help of Hubert and Jody (the inventor of the powder), she finds herself coming to Alyssa's rescue. In the process, of course, there is the usual smattering of high jinks and secrecy associated with this sort of predicament, as well as life lessons learned - namely, even your worst enemy has a good side.

     This is Marthe Jocelyn's third novel starring Billie and her invisibility powder. In the first book, The Invisible Day, it was Billie herself who became invisible. The second novel, The Invisible Harry, followed Billie to grade five and watched the problems that developed when her dog, Harry, became invisible. Following the same fun and funny format, The Invisible Enemy Jocelyn's third invisibility installment moves along at a lively pace and will be enjoyed by youngsters looking for a light read.


Kristin Butcher lives in Victoria, BC, where she writes for children and young adults.


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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364