This new fantasy adventure series centers around a boy who is invisible at school but very visible at home. The reason for his disappearing act is never explained, but I’m sure it will be explored further as the series progresses. Book 2 is already in the works as a sample chapter is shared in the back pages.
The plot of THE MOSTLY INVISIBLE BOY takes off when Casey’s parents decide to take a kid free vacation. He and his younger sister are left in the care of a rather strange babysitter. Ms. Jones is loose with the rules and readers will be suspicious of her.
Casey goes off into the nearby woods to show his sister a tree he found. The big oak is full of mystery and it leads to an entirely different community—Sylvan Woods. The residents don’t seem to like “civilians”— people like Casey. There are also vicious monsters. Ones who would make a normal kid run home. These brave twosome stay and with the help of a spunky resident named Luci, they pretend to be her cousins and begin to unravel the secrets of Sylvan Woods.
Everything you’d expect in a fast paces fantasy is included:
- Magic (How it works and who’s in charge adds to the tension)
- Well-Developed Setting (Sylvan Woods captures the essence of world building)
- Complex characters (Both adults and kids. Readers will for sure find a favorite)
- Conflict (Almost every chapter has some, whether it be internal conflict or physical encounters)
- A Power Structure (No spoilers here)
Perfect for middle grade—not too scary but enough to keep you flipping the pages.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: APRIL 25, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 292
THE OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
Eleven-year-old Casey Grimes 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.
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE MOSTLY INVISIBLE BOY by AJ Vanderhorst
- The relationship between siblings Casey and Gloria will make you smile at how real it is, even in the middle of a magical forest.
- I wanted to visit their tree, a testament to the enticing scenes created among the branches.
- Yikes, Butcher Beasts and Bog Creeps. These monsters have their own agenda. Glad I was reading from an imaginative distance.
- Surprises at every turn keep the plot moving at a quick pace.
- A great ending that leads to many possibilities for Book 2: CASEY GRIMES AT TRICKERY SCHOOL.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As you may have guessed, I write books. I’m also a husband, dad, and lifetime tree-climber. My debut middle grade fantasy novel, The Mostly Invisible Boy, explores a world of forest secret societies, Hyena Toads and—obviously—invisibility. If you haven’t read it yet, you should probably be doing that right now instead of reading this bio.
When I’m not writing, I’m usually fixing my house, coercing—ahem, politely asking my kids to pick up their rooms, or pursuing one of my too-many hobbies.
My wife and I live in a woodsy house with our six proteges and a ridiculous number of pets, including a turtle with a taste for human toes. This makes me an expert on wild, dangerous things—invisibility spells, butcher beasts, hungry kids, you get the idea.
For more be sure to visit AJ’s author website (see if you can find the hidden page!)
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