Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things Hoped For - by Andrew Clements

So we all know that Andrew Clements can right for fifth and sixth graders, and he does it well. Who doesn’t enjoy a little Frindle now and then? I was totally surprised when I picked up a copy of Things Hoped For ( the sequel to Things Not Seen) in the library, and it was aimed at kids a little bit older. I found myself wondering if Clements can write something most ninth graders would enjoy. I had to pick up the book and find out.

Truthfully, the whole book is a conundrum to me. In the beginning it starts out as your average middle grade fiction Gwen lives with her grandfather in New York where she is preparing for a Julliard Audition. Then her grandfather disappears and only leaves her a mysterious phone message telling her not to worry and I find myself thinking, “ok, so it’s a mystery.” After that she meets Robert and the romance part of the novel begins. It’s a lot to fit in a novel, right? So I was totally thrown when Robert confides in Gwen that one morning he woke up and he was invisible. He was invisible for a whole month and now even though he’s visible again, other dangerous invisible people are following him trying to find out the secret of how he became visible again. WHAT? I did not expect the book to go there. Suddenly halfway through the novel Clements got all Sci-fi on us! But wait there’s more! It turns into a bit of a horror novel when Gwen discovers what really happened to her grandfather. Oh, and did I mention that Gwen and Robert manage to solve a major crime that doesn’t involve any of the main characters in the meantime? As you might imagine trying to fit all that into a novel made things seem a little bit disjointed and added up to an ending that wasn’t completely satisfactory. I do have to say that it made things unpredictable at times. Maybe it all would have fit together a bit more if I had read Things not Seen, but then again, maybe not.

I'm still a huge fan of Andrew Clements's books aimed at slightly younger readers. I just picked up his newest, No Talking, and I can't wait to dive into it.

9 comments:

Maire Fisher said...

Hi there

I work part-time at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, South Africa.

I'd like very much to link your blog to the Children's Literature Network Blog, which I am in the process of setting up. http://bdf.org.za/blogs/cln/

This blog

PS I think you meant 'write' in your first sentence?

Support said...

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minerva66 said...

The invisible boy part of Things Hoped For also surprised me despite having read Things Not Seen. I liked it because of the connection to the other book (which I thought was excellent and higher level than the standard Clements book). My surprise was because Clements had gone in a totally different direction from the other book. I enjoyed the book overall, but , yes, he packed an awful lot into the book.

Anonymous said...

Hi people

I'm a fifth grader at West Point Middle School in West Point(big shock) NY. Anyway, I seriously love the book Things Hoped For and I just finished reading Things Not Seen, which I will encourage you to read. It will explain a whole lot about Bobby and Alicia his girlfriend. Yeah, I'm running out of things to say and I've got to go so bye!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved this book!!

One of the best books I have ever read!!

I'm in second grade at my school.I am a very good reader for my age. I can,t wait to start reading another book from Andrew Clements!I wan,t to wright books like him one day. He is truly a role modal.I can,t wait to read things not seen,thanks for encouraging the book to me fifth grader!!! bye

Anonymous said...

Well i dident like the book at all!!! sorry every one who liked it

I DIDEN'T and maybe i shouldent be posting this comment but to bad!!! oh and little girl in grade two...YOUR NOT A GOOD READER FOR YOUR AGE IT WAS A EASY BOOK!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is the "little grade two girl" and what you said was very mean!! I AM A GOOD READER FOR MY AGE,and i can even spell better then you. Post a nice comment. Not a mean one! :( :( :(

Anonymous said...

Hey little girl!!! GO FUCK YOUSELF!!! YOU STUPID LITTLE BITCH!!!! IF YOU FUCKEN THINK YOUR SMARTER THEN ME YOUR WRONG!!! YOU ARE A FUCKING BITCH!!!!! GO SHUVE THE FUCKIN BOOK UP YOUR ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOWS THAT SLUT!!!

Anonymous said...

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! im going to tell :( :( im only 8, thats not nice... Stop posting that mean stuff!!