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Book giveaway: Invisible Girl by Kate Maryon

(64 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 12:59:22

Apply for one of 50 advance copies of Invisible Girl by Kate Maryon, due out in the shops on 6th June.

Invisible Girl tells the story of twelve year old Gabriella, who somehow slips through the cracks when she's caught between arguing parents and moving house. The city streets are no place for young girls but they're all she's got. For fans of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, a stunning new novel from the author of SHINE, GLITTER, SEA OF STARS and A MILLION ANGELS.

Kate Maryon was inspired to write Invisible Girl after reading an article about children running away from home in the UK by Andy McCullough, who works for children's charity Railway Children. As part of the campaign with Mumsnet, Railway Children and Aviva are working with Kate Maryon to raise awareness of this issue and have secured 50 advance copies of the book to giveaway to Mumsnetters. Apply for one of 50 free advance copies of Invisible Girl, and PLEASE post your feedback on this thread. For every post on the thread Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children. You are allowed to post up to three messages. Thanks

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 20-May-13 10:26:17

Have entered for dd

Two years ago we went to see The Railway Children staged at Waterloo and there was an exhibition about the charity. Dd spent ages reading some of the stories. She was only 9 then but it really made her think about the children out there with no one.

LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 12:25:19

If you are one of the lucky 50, we do ask that you post feedback on the discussion thread – both on the book, and if this enabled you to start a conversation with your child about the topic of running away from home. However, if you don't get a book, we'd still love to hear what you think about using children's books (and other resources) as ways to bring up tricky topics like running away from home with your children, so do please add your thoughts to the thread.

Entered. I think it would be great for dd to realise how easily these things can happen.

EstoyAqui Tue 21-May-13 12:51:56

It saddens me that it is something that needs to be considered. DD is 5 and I could never imagine a stage where she will not want to come home. sad

I fully support this campaign.

jackies4 Tue 21-May-13 12:54:13

RCPANEL jackies4 - would be a good book to read with my teenage daughter and son, to focus a family discusson on

iloveweetos Tue 21-May-13 13:28:43

sounds a good read! will be reading this myself

MaryBS Tue 21-May-13 13:32:04

My friend's son is still missing. Couldn't possibly imagine how bad it is for them. My daughter is 13, my son is 11. He was 14 when he ran away from home

What a great campaign. I think books/stories or plays/films are a fantastic way of opening up a dialogue with children and raising awareness of important issues like this and introducing difficult topics for discussion.

popsocks Tue 21-May-13 14:29:53

Have entered, my DD is 10 and i think this book will be a great way to get her to understand how things can happen.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 21-May-13 15:34:58

Have entered I think both my step-daughter and the little girl I nanny for would benefit from reading this.

KneeDeepInDaisies Tue 21-May-13 15:42:10

What a great campaign. My DS is 10 and is struggling emotionally so would love to be able to talk to him about an issue like this.

Morgan Tue 21-May-13 18:59:17

Have entered for my DS 11 as sounds like a very interesting book .

I have entered, I 'ran away' from home at 7 years old. A lot of things were going on.
It is a thing I am willing to talk about with my dc. Atm though the oldest still want's to live with me and dh forever grin

Tweeter Tue 21-May-13 22:33:08

Have entered for my 12 year old daughter looks like great book

lottietiger Tue 21-May-13 22:38:35

Sounds like an interesting and thought provoking read. I was shocked to hear just
How many children run away from home each year. sad

popsocks Tue 28-May-13 10:19:13

Recieved my book this morning. Will post feedback when dd and i have read itsmile

Kneedeepindaisies Tue 28-May-13 12:04:34

I received my book this morning, thanks for picking

DS1 and I will start reading this as soon as we finish our current one which won't be too long.

I just got mine too. The title had made dd immediately curious so that's a good start. We're going to read it together in the next couple of weeks.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 28-May-13 16:10:59

Dd has just read it in one sitting. She's just come downstairs a bit stunned. Think she needs to gather her thoughts before posting a proper review. She says its made her think what some children go through and she wants to donate something.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 28-May-13 16:45:15

Just got my copy, dsd has just disappeared into her room with it so will post a review when she's done

chocfemme Tue 28-May-13 17:45:21

I've just received my copy. I'm looking forward to reading this with dd, as we never make the effort to read together anymore. ..she devours books on her own so this is a chance to discuss an important issue and spend some time together. Thank you...will post my review soon.

lottietiger Thu 30-May-13 14:59:38

I received my copy yesterday, we are reading this together at bedtime so it could be a few days before we are ready to review. Will review as soon as we are finished. Thank you smile

Housemum Thu 30-May-13 20:55:01

Just received today - DD keen to get started, will add feedback when she's got into it smile

katb1973 Sat 01-Jun-13 14:47:02

Just finished this great book...thanks Mumsnet! What an eye opener. While we are sleeping in our warm beds, many thousands of children like Gabriella, in the UK are living on the streets, hand to mouth. At times I wanted to scream at Gabriella's self absorbed parents, but mostly I was completely engrossed in the story and hoping for a happy ending. A very absorbing and directly honest read. Girls (and boys) aged 9 upwards will love it. Thoroughly recommend it!

alreadytaken Sat 01-Jun-13 15:49:54

Using books and stories as a starting point for discussion is a great way to raise an issue with children, although not quite as effective as being able to talk to someone who has been there and had the T-shirt stolen. Older children are very much aware that books are fiction and may argue that life isn't really like that. So we also used newspaper reports on, for example, what happens to missing children. The "world's strictest parents" TV show was good for showing teens how well off they were and how bad teens who are spoilt by their parents can become.

MonsterBookOfTyRexs Sat 01-Jun-13 19:39:27

Just received this, will get back when read it.

ADefiniteMaybe Sat 01-Jun-13 21:19:24

Entered!! Looking forward to reading it.

potentiallytotallyshafted Sat 01-Jun-13 21:34:59

looks like a great book that DD would enjoy, and a great cause.

gazzalw Sat 01-Jun-13 21:39:16

Hi we've received our copy. Started reading it to DD (who's nearly 8) as a bedtime story but a few pages in realised it's too 'dark' for her and she said as much herself. Now trying to get DS, to whom it's more appropriate, to read (a novel concept that one - excuse the pun!) but it's already fired my interest. I am considering that we read it en famille once DD has gone off to bed to stimulate talk around this often ignored issue.....

Fuckwittery Sat 01-Jun-13 21:56:16

Hi, I am sorry, I didn't properly read the description of the book when I applied for the giveaway, it is too old for my DD. I will give it to my 14 year old niece when I next see her.
In the meantime I have read it myself and tried to think myself back into my 13 year old self (went through quite a shitty time myself nowhere near like Gabriella).
What struck me as ringing so true is how many people would have helped Gabriella but she was reluctant to reach out, she wanted to be self-sufficient and was afraid to trust anyone, when she did put her trust in a fellow runaway it was misplaced. I thought the book was brilliant and I would have loved it at this age. I will post my niece's feedback when she has read it.

I received my copy and read it. I have absolutely no idea why the publishers went with incredibly girls pink swirly nonsense on the cover. It looks like awful chick lit! And it's unnecessarily limiting to the readership. I was planning on getting DS1 (12) to read it and post his feedback, but it will take some persuading to get him to read what looks like a princess story. It's a shame, as the story itself is absolutely relevant to both genders, and it is absolutely an important issue.

I thought it was very good. I agree that it's very absorbing and you do really care about Gabriella. I thought the ending was unrealistically tidy though. Perhaps that's because I'm experienced enough to know it would never have happened that way (why didn't anyone from social work speak to Gabriella, for example?). Obviously, a happy ending was a good thing, but I'd've liked a slightly more realistic one. I won't spoil it by saying too much though.

I agree with what fuckwittery says about Gabriella's reluctance to trust the many people who could help her, and her fear of getting her dad into trouble, really did ring true.

insanityscratching Sun 02-Jun-13 08:02:54

I've made a start on the book but it's too dark for dd aged 10 (who is a very young 10) so I won't be giving it to her just yet.However it did prompt a discussion with dd who had no idea that children ran away and couldn't imagine why it would ever be necessary. I reinforced that whatever happened in her life even if she thought I'd be angry she could always talk to me or her daddy, siblings or teachers or other family members to get help to put it right rather than ever thinking of running away.

Fuckwittery Sun 02-Jun-13 08:52:43

Yy arbitary, the girly cover is a shame as would definitely appeal to either sex and is not at all a girly book or topic.

gazzalw Sun 02-Jun-13 12:58:03

Yes, a more edgy Malorie Blackman cover would work very well methinks!

Kneedeepindaisies Sun 02-Jun-13 22:44:03

DS and I have made a start on the book tonight and have read the first couple of chapters.

It has already prompted a conversation about homeless people and his experience of them.

I have to agree with the comments regarding the cover. It really is too girly. I guarantee DS will hide it before his friends come round.

It's not only that it's girly though; it's also doing the book a disservice. You'd see it on a shelf and dismiss it as princessy crap.

Kneedeepindaisies Sun 02-Jun-13 23:28:53

Absolutely agree. It looks like one of those free books you get with magazines in the summer.

gazzalw Mon 03-Jun-13 07:25:23

It brings to mind the time-honoured expression "don't judge a book by its cover"...grin. Very apt for this book grin.

gazzalw Mon 03-Jun-13 07:33:47

sorry perhaps not entirely appropriate of me to be using the grin emoticon given the subject matter but you know what I mean....

Cocodale Mon 03-Jun-13 10:35:27

Would like for my 13 yr old daughter and her 10 yr old sister, certainly something to be addressed.

SlittySluttySlots Mon 03-Jun-13 22:08:59

Not sure if the giveaway is still taking place but would love a.copy odd to.share with DD. She is.probably too young now but as a poster up thread said, such young children away - it's heartbreaking.

Even if i don't get, at least Aviva will donate £2 to help the Railway Children continue their valuable work!

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 03-Jun-13 23:41:12

I was planning on reading this with DD (11) but she has taken it off to read alone with a promise to get back to me.

I am pleased to report that she thinks it is really good so far. Not bad for a girl who usually refuses to read anything without vampires.

The girly cover seems quite light for the story to me, but appealed to DD as it is a bit more grown up than Jacqueline Wilson covers.

More feedback will follow when she finishes.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 03-Jun-13 23:42:54

Forgot to say thank you for the book. DD is very pleased to have an advance copy and took great pride in telling her teacher and friends she got her copy before it hit the shops.

Mograt Tue 04-Jun-13 12:42:29

I was one of the lucky winners so thank you! My 11 year old DD rushed off to read the book alone - she finished it in an afternoon and thought it was an excellent read, very easy to understand and very thought-provoking. We're going to ask if our school librarian is happy to have this donated to the school as a leaver's book in my daughter's name so that the other children can read it.

Kneedeepindaisies Sun 09-Jun-13 20:39:34

We're half way through and DS has enjoyed it ( not sure if that's the right word).

I don't know how much of it he gets but he feels very sad for Gabriella.

I'm finding it sad that she feels she has no one she can go to. sad

Nettyporthole Mon 10-Jun-13 22:26:44

Although a book for children/teenagers, I was immediately caught up with Gabriella's story. Her story was told in detail, but there were hints of what causes others to run away. Tia's father coming into her bedroom in his boxer shorts is the nearest that the book gets with dealing with the issue of sexual abuse, but may be the starting point for discussions with older children. The picture of groups of runaway kids living together in Manchester may be realistic, but I felt that there were only hints of the threats posed by the man in the car for Henny and her runaway friends. For Gabriella there was a happy ending in the book, but it was also clear that for every happy ending there was another child to take her place next to Henny. A boy I used to look after at primary school went missing at age 11 and more than thirty five years later has never been found, so I hope the book raises awareness of the Railway Children campaign.

This was an interesting read, which really highlights the fact that so many children are living on our streets. The book was well written but I felt it was resolved too easily, after chapters that described situations in depth and at length the ending felt a little like the author had hit her required word count and tied it up as fast as she could. My goddaughter (11) said 'yeah right' to the amazingly coincidental finding of Blue bunny in Selfridges and subsequent tracking down of Gabrielle to 'near the swimming pool' but other than that this was an enjoyable and thought provoking read which prompted a discussion about the lives of others.

This is a great book, but as others have said, the cover does it a disservice as I think it will put off some potential readers.
I think it is perfect for reading with children and have already passed it on to a friend to share with her DC.
I found it thought provoking & hope it gets the audience it deserves.

lottietiger Wed 12-Jun-13 18:55:34

I read this out loud to my son yesterday, its a tough subject but easy to read and therefore makes the subject matter or running away much easier to discuss. You really feel for Gabriella and what she goes through with her parents & subsequently living on the streets, all the while hoping for a happy ending. Although the book states for age 9+ i feel that it also has its place read to younger children. A thoroughly good read.. ps.. agree with others about the cover

Dianec67 Tue 25-Jun-13 09:15:06

Thank you for my copy of the book. I read it with my 11 year old son who enjoyed it. I thought as it was about a girl he might not relate to it but it gave us a opportunity to talk about the subject of children running away. My son has ADHD and diabetes so struggles with emotions sometimes and feeling 'different' . The emotions of feeling different from her peers came across well in Gabriella's story.It is a good way to start a discussion about factors that can lead to teens or pre-teens struggling to cope with issues in their lives. Recommended.

LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Jul-13 15:57:01

Kate Maryon has just completed a national tour to launch her book, Invisible Girl, where she visited schools and libraries, appearing at 33 events over 22 days. She has asked us to share the following with you.

Kate Maryon:

Hi Everyone,

My tour has gone brilliantly and I've had fantastic feedback from kids, teachers and librarians.

After each talk I'm left feeling so touched and moved by what the children share. In the space of an hour many of them reveal so much of their own sadness and frustration - telling me their own runaway tales - of which there are many! The teachers are mostly shocked - some following up with classroom talks around the difficult circumstances these children are living.

In one prep school in York a child disclosed to me that he frequently considers running away as an option because he is regularly beaten by his father for not being as bright as his sisters. I flagged this up to the school and they instantly put their child protection procedures into operation. So hopefully something will be done to protect him. In another school a 10 year old boy said that he ran away when he was 8 for an entire week and no one bothered to look for him - the teachers were astonished. Many of them are concerned that they never hear this kind of thing in class.

Many children feel that running away might be exciting and freeing. Once I've shared the dangers and pointed them toward safer options they all seem to get that it's not a sensible thing to do - which is a great thing.

I hope they take my talk into their lives with better knowledge of how to resource themselves and change the cycle of familial sadness/neglect/conflict.

ninaprettyballerina Fri 26-Jul-13 13:43:44

Whilst my children are too young to read or discuss the book (2&4) I found the book interesting, thought provoking and easy to read, and I see it as a very good discussion point for youngsters. Perhaps it leans slightly towards girls especially focussing on the closeness of G and G.
I'm pleased its been so well received as part of your tour and obviously touched children already

xxxlivelifexxx Sat 03-Aug-13 09:27:06

Thank you so much for my copy of this book.
I read this myself, fantastic read,easy to read, gripping, heart, eye opening,couldn't put down once started.
I know this was aimed at 9+ but I enjoyed this myself, shocking to think children go through what this girl goes through. In parts I wanted to just wrap her up and keep her safe. A real eye opener. I am saving this for my Daughter for when she is older, and I will definitely buy more of Kates books xx

DD1 (11) read the book alone, she said she didn't really think about people running away and being homeless before as its not something that has really come up in her life. She said she enjoyed the book and that it made her think more about issues outside our little village.

MaryBS Fri 09-Aug-13 12:21:49

I was really pleased to be given the opportunity that this book offered to raise running away with my daughter who is 13. The book itself, although I felt it raised the issue very well, seemed to sugar coat what might actually happen, and I felt that was a little worrying.

I think as a spring board for discussion the book serves a wonderful purpose. Dd was so horrified by the circumstances surrounding Gabriella going missing that we she couldn't read any more. It has allowed us to discuss things though and I think it's left her knowing that she can and must always find a trusted adult to talk to.

She also wants to help the children that are on the streets irl. I've suggested she researches what charity she'd like to help and do some fund raising and see if she can help raise awareness.

At nine I feel she's a bit young to help hands on iyswim?

I found this an interesting read but felt the author was holding back somewhat, there seemed to be so much more that could have been applied to Gabriella's story but I agree it would make a good basis for discussion.

It is a shame that the cover was not more appealable to both genders but I assumed it was a nod to the numerous mentions of Gabriella's doodles.

Dd is only 5 but I plan to hold onto it until the topic becomes relevant to us.

Thank you for the opportunity to read the book.

lottietiger Fri 09-Aug-13 22:48:54

We enjoyed this at home so I have now passed it on to my ten year old niece to read. Hopefully she will enjoy it to and and at least put the idea in her head that running awAy isn't as glamourous as it sometimes seems

popsocks Sat 10-Aug-13 07:24:00

My dd, 11, read this and found it hard to believe the attitude of her parents. It has lead to lots of discussion and we have also passed the book on to her school. I also think the book cover is decieving.

lolapops1 Sun 11-Aug-13 15:31:45

Wonderfully written story,very informative and moving. Think it's a must for all school libraries.
The cover does limit the reader though.

starlight36 Wed 14-Aug-13 14:13:47

A very clever book dealing with an important topic in an age-appropriate way. I read the book and was willing for a happy ending for Gabriella.

I applied for a copy to pass onto a friend's daughter (aged 11). Like other posters she was affected by both the selfishness of the parents and the scariness of living on the streets.

I've read the book and my 11 year old son has now finished it too. I thought it was well written in an easy enough way for children 10+ to understand.

It brought up some interesting discussions with my son. He said he has never thought about running away and couldn't see why anyone would before he read it. Now he knows why it could possibly happen but he found it hard to believe that she would have just gone off with a whole bunch of other runaways as he doesn't see how that could really happen. That they just "find" you.

Thank you for the book, I've now passed it to my sister and niece to read. It's a great way to bring up this topic that many people wouldn't really think about otherwise smile

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