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Things not seen

by Andrew Clements


Book Review

:

Publishers Weekly :

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The earnest and likable 15-year-old narrator is the principal thing not seen in Clements's (Frindle; The Jacket) fast-paced novel, set in Chicago. As the book opens, the boy discovers that he has turned invisible overnight. Bobby breaks the news to his parents who, afraid of being hounded by the media, instruct him to share his dilemma with no one. But when Bobby ventures out of the house and visits the library, he meets Alicia, a blind girl to whom he confides his secret. Their blossoming friendship injects a double meaning into the book's title. As preposterous as the teen's predicament may be, the author spins a convincing and affecting story, giving Bobby's feeling of helplessness and his frustration with his parents an achingly real edge. As his physicist father struggles to find a scientific explanation for and a solution to his son's condition, husband and wife decide that they will tell the investigating truancy officials and police that Bobby has run away. Bobby, however, becomes increasingly determined to take control of the situation and of his own destiny: "And I want to yell, It's my life! You can't leave me out of the decisions about my own life! You are not in charge here!" Equally credible is the boy's deepening connection to Alicia, who helps Bobby figure out a solution to his problem. Ages 10-14.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Review

:

School Library Journal :

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Gr 6 Up-"-I turn on the bathroom light and wipe the fog off the mirror to comb my hair.-I'm not there. That's what I'm saying. I'm. Not. There." Thus starts the adventure of Bobby Phillips, who wakes up one morning to find that somehow he has turned invisible. The 15-year-old and his parents live with the worry of what happens if they can't figure out how to reverse his condition. With a nod in the direction of H. G. Wells's Invisible Man, Clements allows readers to speculate what it would be like to be invisible. As they see Bobby deal with his situation, they also experience his fears of being alone, unable to talk to his friends, or to tell anyone for fear of the consequences. He reaches out to a blind girl, Alicia Van Dorn, and together they begin to fight back as best as they can. The quest for visibility becomes even more frantic when the school officials and the local police decide that Bobby is the victim of foul play. The threat of having his parents thrown in jail for his own murder makes the teen even more desperate to find out what happened to him. Clements's story is full of life; it's poignant, funny, scary, and seemingly all too possible. The author successfully blends reality with fantasy in a tale that keeps his audience in suspense until the very end.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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