Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs? By Simon Packham

Archie has a great life- good friends, class clown status and a safe and happy home, not to mention his cat Dinger!

When their landlord wants to sell their house, the family suddenly find themselves homeless and reliant upon the council, who we know are unable to do much quickly and temporary housing can be quite dire.

When they move into a grungy B & B on the other side of town, Archie and his family must make major adjustments to life. It takes 2 buses to get to school, they have noisy neighbours and all share one room with no en-suite.

Going from the high life to a hidden life takes its toll on Archie and he shies away from his friends, lessons and engagement across activities.

When he meets a familiar girl in the laundry room, she shares some haunting news…she is invisible to all but her family and Archie is turning invisible too. Such a well thought metaphor for those who sometimes slip through the radar, who need help but feel unable to ask and those who may get blamed when innocent.

Archie and Zofia are invisible but they want to use this new “power” for good. When a box of money goes missing from the class, one boy gets the blame. It takes Archie and Zofia learning about his home life to realise he may act poorly but he has a heart of gold.

Schools can be busy places and I think children like Archie can slip through the net and become invisible…it is our reaction to them that makes them re-appear and feel able to share their feelings with those who might help.

A brilliant and eye opening book, one that would make an epic class read. It could help some students identify with Archie and Zofia.

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