Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements


Book Summary

Bobby is a regular student with busy parents, who don't see who he really is, or what he wants, until one day when nobody can see Bobby, because he is invisible.  Bobby's scientific father is fascinated by the problem, and his confident mother begins dueling with the child welfare department after Bobby is absent from school for too long.  When Bobby meets Alicia, who is blind, he becomes more independent, and his family finally begins to see him.  The question is, can he live the rest of his life as an invisible man?

Things Not Seen book cover
Things Not Seen

Book Review

This is something totally different for Frindle fans from this author.  While the premise of invisibility is necessary for the plot, it's really not where the heart of the story lies.  Since it's a fascinating idea, it's a little disappointing that the invisibility story line is not more compelling.  Instead, the richness of this book is in the relationship between Bobby and his parents, and in the dialogue between Bobby and Alicia. His conversations with Alicia hint at romance, but the honesty of their frustrations and worries is the strongest part of the writing.

Class Structure Recommendation: Small Group Book Club, or Independent Reading

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Family Relationships
  • People with blindness
  • Judging Others
  • Finding your Voice

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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