quiet, shy, artistic Emmie
popular, outgoing, athletic Katie
—and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day, when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands. . . .
All the crushes, humiliations, boredom, and drama of middle school are compressed into one surprising day in this extraordinary novel.
Emmie is not comfortable in middle school-- she has curly hair, is a late bloomer, and is artistic. She tries to stay under everyone's radar. In alternating chapters, we also meet Kate, who is fabulous, has everyone as a friend, and is everything Emmie is not. Emmie does have one friend, Brianna, but even that relationship is rocky. Her parents are busy, school makes her anxious, and the boy on whom she has a crush, Tyler, asks out Kate! Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, a poem she has written about Tyler falls out of her notebook and picked up by the obnoxious Joseph, and everyone starts to make fun of her. Can Kate help Emmie to stand up for herself?
It was interesting that while Emmie felt that her own image left something to be desired, she still refereed to her classmates in unflattering terms like Smelly Kid and Brainiacs (complete with propeller beanies). Kate's depiction is a bit over the top, but we eventually find out why that is. It was nice to see Emmie grow and get over her anxiety, and the character of Tyler was nicely done.
Middle school can be difficult, but it helps if it can be approached with some humor. Invisible Emmie is a great choice for readers who like middle school stories about students struggling to fit in that are combined with pictures. Read alikes for this include Vivat's Frazzled, Wells' Mackenzie Blue, and Barshaw's Ellie McDoodle.