Johnson, Kim

Invisible Son

(2) YA Like so many young Black men, Andre Jackson feels invisible. Falsely accused and convicted of a crime, Andre emerges from juvenile detention intending to return to some sense of normalcy. However, he comes home to his rapidly gentrifying Portland, Oregon, neighborhood just as the world is plunged into a global pandemic. His friend Eric, who Andre hoped would help clear his name, is missing, which raises questions around why Eric's seemingly perfect, diverse family appears unconcerned about his vanishing without a trace. Are Andre's arrest and Eric's disappearance connected? As Andre begins to unravel the secrets around Eric and to make sense of his own post-release reality, he dares to pursue freedom in a world closed in by the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and violence that is brewing much closer than he realizes. Johnson's (This Is My America, rev. 9/20) mystery-thriller is a gut-wrenching first-person look at the life of a young man who feels his disposability as a Black teen within the justice system while witnessing with the world the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd. The isolation of the pandemic and the intensity of the Black Lives Matter protests provide the backdrop to a riveting story line that is also a social commentary on power, privilege, marginalization, and the carceral system and its impact on Black men. Back matter includes an author's note and resources on topics including youth incarceration and transracial adoption.


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