From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 5–7—This illustrated novel, reminiscent in style of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007), is sure to have huge appeal. Finn Garrett tells the tender yet humorous story of how he begins to disappear following his beloved dad's sudden death. The 12-year-old awakens the morning after the day when everything changes to find a strand of white hair and less "pinkness" to his skin. Each day he grows whiter and less visible. He begins to write a memoir, which is really an account of his and his family's grief over their devastating loss. While poignant and sad, the book is ultimately upbeat as they begin to heal. At times Finn feels he is being erased because he failed to save his dad. At other times he wonders if he is aging in order to get closer to him. He recounts memory after memory, ultimately realizing the importance of them, and of being the keeper of his father's stories. Finn sees a therapist, and eventually he, his mother, his grandpa, his little brother, and his friend Melanie move beyond their initial pain. Finn's invisibility reverses itself and he becomes a boy who has managed to hold on to the world. The book's engaging, intimate tone is enhanced by Finn frequently addressing readers. Stop signs placed at points when he is overwhelmed with feeling add to the tenderness. The language and style are pitch-perfect middle school, and the illustrations ably capture the boy's memories and moods.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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Finn Garret is disappearing. Every day he wakes to find a little less pigment reflected in the mirror. It all began, he says, on “The Terrible Day That Changed Everything, the day I lost my dad forever.” Finn’s first-person chronicle of his life after his father’s death strikes a balance of honest humor and poignancy. The narrative structure is clever and affecting: the less the world sees of Finn, the more the reader comes to know. Finn’s journal, an assemblage of log entries, quizzes, drawings, and directions to the reader, is genuinely adolescent, funny, and moving. Vivid details, like Finn’s obsession with saltwater taffy, add depth to the characterizations and grow in meaning as the story progresses. In style, Finn’s diary sits somewhere between those in Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007). But Finn’s distinct narrative voice, and the sweet precision with which the story unfolds, give this title a touching resonance all its own. Grades 4-7. --Thom Barthelmess
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