Invisible Child: Book summary and reviews of Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott

Invisible Child

Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City

by Andrea Elliott

Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott X
Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott
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Book Summary

A work of luminous and riveting prose, Elliott's Invisible Child reads like a page-turning novel. It is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family and the cost of inequality—told through the crucible of one remarkable girl.

In Invisible Child, Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani's childhood with the history of her ancestors, tracing their passage from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, New York City's homeless crisis has exploded, deepening the chasm between rich and poor. She must guide her siblings through a world riddled by hunger, violence, racism, drug addiction, and the threat of foster care. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter "to protect those who I love." When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself?

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize Winners, 2022

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Stunning ... a remarkable achievement that speaks to the heart and conscience of a nation." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A heartbreaking story of a family ... This important book packs a real gut punch."—Booklist (starred review)

"A vivid and devastating story of American inequality." - The New York Times

"A classic to rank with Orwell." - The Sunday Times

"From its first indelible pages to its rich and startling conclusion, Invisible Child had me, by turns, stricken, inspired, outraged, illuminated, in tears, and hungering for reimmersion in its Dickensian depths. This book is so many things: a staggering feat of reporting, an act of profound civic love, an extraordinarily moving tale about the fierceness of family love, and above all, a future American classic." - Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

"A wonderful and important book." - Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains

"Andrea Elliott's Invisible Child swept me away. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, Dasani's journey kept me up nights reading. Elliott spins out a deeply moving story about Dasani and her family, whose struggles underscore the stresses of growing up poor and Black in an American city, and the utter failure of institutions to extend a helping hand. Invisible Child is a triumph." - Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here

"Elliott's book is a triumph of in-depth reporting and storytelling. It is a visceral blow-by-blow depiction of what 'structural racism' has meant in the lives of generations of one family. But above all else it is a celebration of a little girl—an unforgettable heroine whose frustration, elation, exhaustion, and intelligence will haunt your heart." - Ariel Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply

This information about Invisible Child was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Andrea Elliott

Andrea Elliott is an investigative reporter for The New York Times and a former staff writer at The Miami Herald. Her reporting has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a George Polk Award, a Scripps Howard Award, and prizes from the Overseas Press Club and the American Society of News Editors. She has served as an Emerson Collective fellow at New America, a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a visiting scholar at the Columbia Population Research Center, and is the recipient of a Whiting Foundation grant. In 2015, she received Columbia University's Medal for Excellence, given to one alumnus or alumna under the age of forty-five. She lives in New York City. This is her first book.

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