The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (A Review)

The Invisible StringAbout the Book

The Invisible String is a wonderful story meant to help kids who are feeling the anxiety, loneliness and hurt of being separated from someone they love.

Who Is This Book For?

This book is aimed primarily at elementary aged kids, but the story is universal and I can see older kids, teens and adults finding comfort in the story presented in this book. Whether the child has ben separated from their loved one for short time (if suffering separation anxiety), a long distance (as in a divorce) or permanently (as in the case of death), the message presented in this book will help the child to remember that no matter the distance, they are still connected to their loved one by love.

Our Synopsis of the Book

When Liza and Jeremy are awakened by a thunderstorm, they cry out for their mother and plead with her to stay close to them. Mom explains that no matter the distance between them, they are connected by an invisible string. As the children pepper their mom with questions, they come to find out that this invisible string called love connects them to all the people they care about and that care about them.  The kids are reassured that even the family pat has an invisible string and that it can reach to the depths of the ocean, the top of the mountains and all around the world. This invisible string can reach all the way to heaven where Uncle Brian is.

Amazon’s Synopsis

Here’s how Amazon describes the book:

“That’s impossible”, said twins Jeremy & Liza after their Mom told them they’re all connected by this thing called an Invisible String. “What kind of string”? They asked with a puzzled look to which Mom replied, “An Invisible String made of love.” That’s where the story begins. A story that teaches of the tie that really binds. The Invisible String reaches from heart to heart. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach, anyway? Does it ever go away? Read all about it! THE INVISIBLE STRING is a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Here is a warm and delightful lesson teaching young and old that we aren’t ever really alone and reminding children (and adults!) that when we are loved beyond anything we can imagine. “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

Thus begins this heart-warming and reassuring story that addresses the issue of “separation anxiety” (otherwise known as the sense of existential ‘aloneness’) to children of all ages.

Specifically written to address children’s fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today’s uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love, to bind, connect and comfort us through those inevitable times when life challenges us!

What We Liked

This book has a simple message and it presents it well – we are all connected by bonds of love that can’t be broken by our actions or distance or even death. It is beautifully illustrated and a great message for people of all ages. It also lends itself well to talking to kids about the connections in their lives.

What We Didn’t Like

This book is a great reminder for kids that love binds us together no matter the time or distance. The books strength, it’s solitary focus on this one concept means that there is not much depth. So, we learn that the string reaches to heaven which should help grieving children, but there isn’t any exploration of that topic. That said, we wouldn’t really expect that kinds of depth in a book like this, and it’s not fair to  fault the book. Fortunately, there are plenty of ideas and activities out there that you can use along with this book to help kids. Check out the following add-on resources:

Recommendation

We recommend The Invisible String for any child or teen who is missing someone. Whether as a result of death, divorce, deployment, incarceration or any other reason, if a child is left missing a parent or another significant person in their life, this is a great book. The Invisible String is on our short list of book to recommend for grieving kids.

Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne started I Am A Child of Divorce to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.