Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements



Things start to go wrong for fifteen-year-old Bobby Phillips the day he wakes up and finds he’s invisible. When his parents, the only ones who know his secret, are involved in a car accident and need a hospital stay, Bobby has a double problem: find a way to become visible again, and do it before the state authorities, who are worried about him being home alone, find out. Can Bobby and his blind friend-turning-girlfriend Alicia make him visible again before the nosy social worker causes problems for his parents?

One of the great things about this book is its matter-of-factness. Sure, you can’t really turn invisible, but Clements makes this sound completely reasonable. Another strength is its main character. Bobby is the kind of guy you’d love to have for a friend. He’s positive and determined and good at taking risks to do things that are important. And so is Alicia. This book won the first ALA Schneider award in 2004. I know the Schneider award has to do with characters with disabilities (Rules is the most recent winner), but I honestly had to stop and think why this book dealt with disabilities. It took me a minute before I caught on. Alicia is blind. But it’s not a book about disabilities, which is what makes it so refreshing. It’s people who happen to have “disabilities” doing cool stuff.

Things Not Seen is followed by a sequel, Things Hoped For. Let’s hope Mr. Clements continues writing YA. He's certainly hooked this YA reader!


Posted by Rose Green

2 Comments:

Ell said...

Thanks for this review, and for the site in general. We get a lot of kids at my library who are very strong readers, but still pretty young, so it's sometimes tough to think of longer, more difficult books that are still content-appropriate. Your site is great for helping me remember what's OK and for coming up with new things to suggest. Thanks!

Miss Laurie said...

I love this book. I'm a fan of Clements in general, but this one is my favorite. I've read it and also listened to it on audio. I was a bit disappointed with the sequel -- my expectations were probably too high -- but as a children's librarian, I am always happy to have _Things Not Seen_ to recommend to thoughtful readers.

blogger templates | Make Money Online