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What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by [Ross Welford]

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What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,733 ratings

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‘The gripping suspense truly makes time fly… the book’s heart and humour are hard to resist.’ Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild

“Extremely clever and totally engaging.” The Irish Times

“Intelligent, well crafted and impressive.” Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

‘Touching, silly and exciting by turns, this thrilling little book is an inventive take on time travel for children. Sure to be a hit with fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder… an unforgettable, madcap story from a bright new talent in Children’s fiction.’ Waterstones

“A touching tale of family, grief and love.” Daily Express

‘With intriguing twists from start to finish, this story is a real roller coaster of emotions. It warmed my heart and filled my head with wonder! A fast, funny and really satisfying read that sparks your imagination.’ Joseph, 10

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One




The actions of reaching down, picking up my ringing phone, finding the silent button, pressing it, and staring at the screen while the phone vibrates in my hand and then stops . . . all those things are so absolutely normal and everyday that I think my brain just fills in the missing stuff.


Missing stuff like my hand, and fingers.


It must be a bit like watching a cartoon. Everyone knows that a cartoon, or any sort of film, for that matter, is really a sequence of still pictures. When you watch them quickly, one after the other, your brain fills in the gaps so that it doesn’t look all jerky.


I think that’s what my brain and eyes do in those two or three seconds that it takes to switch off my ringer. They just “see” my hand because they expect to see it there.


But not for long.


I blink, and look down at my phone on the floor. Then I look at my hand. I actually hold my hand in front of my face and turn it around.


It is not there.


OK, stop for a minute. Actually hold your hand in front of your face. I’ll wait.


It is there, isn’t it? Your hand? Of course it is.


Now turn it round and examine the other side. This is exactly what I was doing a few seconds ago, only my hand wasn’t--isn’t--there.


At this stage, I’m not scared or anything. More confused.


I think, That’s weird. Has the tanning bed affected my mind? Like, am I still half asleep, or dreaming, or having a hallucination or something?


I look down at my legs. They’re not there either, although I can touch them. I can touch my face. I can touch every bit of me, and feel it, but I just cannot see it.


I don’t know how long I’m sitting there, just looking again and again at where I should be. It’s several seconds, but probably not as long as a minute. I’m going through things in my mind, like: Has this happened before? Is this in any way normal? Is it my eyes--have I been temporarily blinded by the strong UV light? Except I can see other things--just not me.


Now I’m scared, and my breathing has become a bit rapid. I stand up and go to the sink in the corner of the garage, where there’s a mirror.


That’s when I scream. Just a little one--more a gasp, really.


Imagine, if you can, standing in front of a mirror and seeing nothing at all. Your face does not look back at you. All you can see is the room behind you. Or the garage, in this case.


After gasping, I realize what’s going on. I shake my head, smile, and even give a little chuckle. I tell myself, OK, so you must be dreaming. And--wow!--this is a vivid one! It really feels real. You know how some dreams are obviously dreams, even as you’re dreaming them? Not this one! This one is as real a dream as I have ever had, and I start to think it’s quite good fun. Nonetheless, I run through the Am I Dreaming? checklist, blinking, pinching myself, telling myself, Wake up, Ethel, it’s just a dream.


Except, when I’m done, I’m still there, in the garage. This is one stubborn dream! So I do it all again, and again.


Nope, not a dream.


Definitely not a dream. I stop smiling right there.


I close my eyes tight and nothing happens. That is, I feel my eyelids tightening, but I can still see. I can see around the garage, even though I know I have my eyes shut tight--screwed up, in fact.


I put my hands over my eyes, and I can still see everything.


In my stomach there’s a lurch of fear, dread, and terror, which is a horrible combination when they all come together. Without warning, I throw up into the sink, but I can’t see anything coming out. I hear it splatter. I taste the hot puke in my mouth. Then, in a second or two, it materializes as I watch: my half-digested cornflakes.


I run the tap to wash it away. I put my hand into the stream of water and the water takes its shape. I stare, awestruck, as I lift a palmful of water to my thirsty mouth and this bubble-like piece of water rises up before me. I suck it up, then look in the mirror again: for a second my lips are almost visible where the water has touched them. I can just make out the water as it starts to go down my throat, and then it’s gone.


I am consumed with a horror that is more intense than anything I have ever felt before.


Standing in front of the mirror, gripping the sides of the sink with my invisible hands, with my brain practically throbbing with the effort of processing this . . . this . . . strangeness, I do what anyone would do.


What you would do.


I scream for help.


“Gram! GRAM! GRAM!”




A Warning




I’m going to tell you how I got to be invisible, and discovered a whole load of other stuff as well.


But if I’m going to do that, you need a bit of what my teacher Mr. Parker calls “backstory.” The stuff that led up to me being invisible.


Stick around for a couple of chapters. I’ll keep it brief, and then we’ll be back in the garage, with me being invisible.


However, the first thing I’d better do before I continue is to warn you: I am not a “rebel.”


I only say this in case you’re hoping I’m going to be one of those daredevil kids who are always getting into trouble and being “sassy” to grown-ups.


That is, unless you count becoming invisible as getting into trouble.


As for the time I swore at Mrs. Abercrombie: that was an accident, as I have said a thousand times. I meant to call her a “witch”--which, I admit, is rude enough in itself, but not as rude as the word I used by mistake, which rhymes with it. It got me into a lot of trouble with Gram. To this day, Mrs. Abercrombie thinks I’m a very rude girl, even though it was more than three years ago and I wrote her a letter of apology on Gram’s best notepaper.


(I know she’s still angry, because her dog, Geoffrey, snarls at me. Geoffrey snarls at everyone, but Mrs. Abercrombie always says, “Stop it, Geoffrey”--except when he snarls at me.)


Anyway, usually I just sit quietly at the back of the room at school, minding my own business, getting on with my stuff--la-la‑la, don’t-bother-me-and-I-won’t-bother-you kind of thing.


But you know what grown-ups say, in that way they have that’s designed to make them seem clever: “Ah, you see--it’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?”


That’s me. A “quiet one.” So quiet that I’m almost invisible.


Which, come to think of it, is quite funny.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01D4OWJ84
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks (29 December 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1674 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 417 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,733 ratings

About the author

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Ross Welford was a magazine journalist and television producer in the UK before becoming an author.

Time Travelling With A Hamster was his first book, and was nominated for every major award in children's books, winning the Awesome Book Award in 2017. It was followed by a second book, What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible.

A new, standalone book has followed every year since, all achieving critical and popular acclaim, and frequently gaining best-seller status. Ross is firmly established as one of the UK's most popular and original voices in children's books.

His eighth book, The Monkey Who Fell From The Future, is published in 2023.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,733 global ratings

Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 March 2023
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5.0 out of 5 stars My choice 'Best fiction books to buy'
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 March 2023
😊My choice 'Best fiction books to buy'....This is the best book I'll buied online.... Thanks Amazon and Mr. Ross Welford sir... this is the only book which I completed 12 chapters in 1 day.... Must buy😊
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 28 May 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 28 May 2021
At first I thought this book could be a whole sort of baloney thing but when I started reading it I realised that apparently I wasn’t right .I didn’t even get bored once though the book was 400 pages long .it was an incredible story about Ethel who could control her invisibility after gulping some sort of powder(I think dr Chang his skin so clear)and also didn’t even know who she was until her great gran gave her some clues that she is actually the daughter of felina (a great pop singer)and her actual name isn’t even Ethel I even liked lady(the black Labrador) and every thing was awesome about the book ,I always feel a warmth clench my heart whenever I read any Of Ross great hits ,the concept of their rivals the knight twins was also a good factor to include and eventually at last she met her dad and Boydy also told her about what the heck was happening with his parents.overall a compelling read thank you Ross
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3 people found this helpful
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 1 October 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice quality and book. Super fast delivery📦🚚
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 1 October 2022
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 1 July 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars The imagination of the genius and intellectual writer
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 1 July 2022
The book holds a really adventurous and interesting story with lots of twist and turns ,
The characters, the dialogues, all are really fascinating. It’s impressive how it’s a 20th century book that is so good!!
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and Spellbinding book
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 November 2020
Stars: 5

□*What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Rose Welford* in my opinion is an *absorbing and spellbinding* read with well crafted plot and well presented characters .

□This book is well written and a good choice for young readers as well as anyone who loves humour and realistic fiction with a touch of fun .

□This book is a delightful read I never felt bored while reading this book .

□Every situation in this book is briefly explain which makes reading satisfying.

□*The Chapters are short which is the main thing that I absolutely love because it makes reading fast-paced*.

□This book is in first person which makes us feel like we are in the story.

□Good book and Recommended for young book lovers .

Happy reading!

Find more reviews @ my booktuber channel Jp Kid Studio
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4 people found this helpful
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 November 2021
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 30 January 2021
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Richard Gardham
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 4 April 2021
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Sara E
5.0 out of 5 stars A ridiculous concept - brilliantly executed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 30 October 2017
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 26 August 2019
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