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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

Things Not Seen
Bobby Phillips could not see himself in the mirror. He knew that he wasn't blind; he could see. He knew that he wasn't dreaming; he was awake. He tells his parents and the very first reaction is that not one person can find out that this fifteen year old is invisible. Bobby does feel invisible because he feels as if he has no control over his life.
When he goes outside, he has to be fully covered up or completely naked. He is naked when he bumps into Alicia at the library. He has to go to the library to have some normal human encounters. His mom and dad work full time. Complicating matters, his parents get in a traffic accident. Bobby tries to cope by himself. He meets Alicia again and they finally talk about her blindness. She has no problem dealing with Bobby's invisibility. Neither Bobby's physicist father, nor Alicia's father who works a Fermi Lab, can explain or solve Bobby's problem. They are truly running out of time because the department of children's services becomes involved.
What a great story about understanding parents and oneself. It adds to the excitement that the story takes place in Chicago. Older readers might also look for the sequel of this book: Things Hoped For. It is special that the title has double meaning for Bobby's invisibility and Alicia's blindness. Andrew Clements deserves the ALA Schneider Award he received for highlighting disabilities.

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