Invisible Me is about a boy who has panic attacks that turn him invisible. At 40,000 words, it’s a Middle Grade novel which would appeal to the readers of The Light Jarby Lisa Thompson and Joe All Alone by Joanna Nadin.

All twelve-year-old Isaac wants is a normal life, playing his guitar in his band, Broken Galaxy. He’s always kept his hugely embarrassing mum a secret from his peers, so when class mean-boy Dennie moves into the house opposite, he thinks his life’s over. He begins to suffer from panic attacks – but not the usual kind – Isaac’s panic attacks turn him invisible. Isaac decides he has to get rid of Dennie before he learns the truth about his embarrassing mum and tells everyone.

Desperate to keep his mum a secret, Isaac takes extreme measures. He creates havoc in the neighbourhood, blaming Dennie and his dad in the hope they’ll be evicted. Isaac’s biggest fear of Dennie revealing the truth about his mum would then disappear along with them. Isaac must also stop the invisible attacks before it’s too late.

Invisible Metackles the theme of anxiety, giving a voice to children who feel unable to speak out about mental health issues. Having trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming, I work part-time as a coach for a mental health charity, Restore.

I was awarded a 1st class honours degree in Imaginative Writing from Liverpool John Moore’s University, and I am an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Children’s Writing course tutored by Catherine Johnson. By day, I’m an editor within educational publishing. I love redrafting my work until it shines.

Thank you for your time reading Invisible Me.

Best wishes

Clare Bunting

 

Invisible Me

Chapter 1

The New Neighbour

 

She was outside, making me look like an idiot again. I clenched my teeth. How could she keep doing this? Theneighbourswere going to see. Any minute now they’d come onto the close and whisper to each other, “Have you seen what Isaac’s mum is up to now?” And the next time they saw me they’d point and laugh until I wished I could just disappear.

I slammed the front door and ran to the living room window, keeping myself mostly hidden behind the curtain. Mum was perched on the bonnet of Nosy-Mr-Peters’ car, dressed in shiny blue leggings, a silver crop top and a fluorescent yellow scarf tied in a bow on the top of her head. Eighties music was blaring from a stereo on our garden wall. Mum joined in, completely out of tune. “Girls, they wanna have fu-un. Girls just wanna have fun.” My heart beat double speed. Hadn’t she ruined my life enough already? Heat rushed to my face. I rubbed my cheeks with the cuff of my red hoodie.

This was going to be one more thing I’d never forget, like the time Mum forgot her keys and climbed through her bedroom window, flashing her bright red knickers at passers-by, or when she was brought home drunk in a police car, or when she tried to steal Mrs Peters’ cat – which she denies to this day – but I know she did it because that’s so Mum. It’s totally not fair. Why can’t I have a normal mum like everybody else?

I needed to get to school but no way was I going outside when she was out there doing that. Someone would see me. I looked up at Nosy-Mr-Peters’ house. The bedroom curtains were still closed but the light was on. Something moved in his front garden. It was just a ginger cat hunting for birds.

Mum leapt off the car into the middle of the road. She stumbled. I thought she was going to fall on her face but she managed to catch her balance. Nobody knows what’s wrong with Mum. I call her weird. My older sister Chloe says she’s got bipolar, but the doctor said there’s nothing wrong that drinking less alcohol won’t fix.

Mum hugged her arms into her chest and did a star jump, then four more. I wanted to run outside and shove her into a bush where nobody would see her but I knew I’d regret it – like the time Chloe found her outside the Nag’s Head, sitting up a tree with a can of lager. Chloe was waiting for her friends and the last thing she wanted was them seeing Mum like that. She tried to get Mum out of the tree but Mum kept yelling, “Get off me. You’re not my mother,” which made everyone stare and laugh, including Chloe’s friends who were now walking towards them. Then Mum toppled out of the tree and landed smack, bam on the pavement.