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.


Anonymous said...

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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.

This blog

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

Unknown said...

Hi there,

Nice stuff you got, very interesting to read.
Well, I do have also in my sleeves, if you have time don't forget to visit

Many thanks

Anonymous 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...


Anonymous said...

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