Things Not Seen
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2006)|
|Things Not Seen|
|Publisher||Philomel Books, Puffin|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.C59118 Tgm 2002|
|Followed by||Things Hoped For, Things That Are|
Things Not Seen is a 2000 First person fiction book written by Andrew Clements in which a teenage boy, Bobby, suddenly turns invisible. The story revolves around Bobby as he deals with his 'disease', tries to get back to normal, and even befriends a blind girl. The title is presumably taken from Hebrews 11:1,"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." in the King James Version of the Bible. The book was originally released in 2000 by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, but was re-released in 2006 as a platinum edition by Puffin. The platinum edition includes a short interview with Andrew Clements and a redesigned cover.
Robert Phillips, known by his nickname "Bobby", wakes up one day to find that he can no longer see himself. Upon discovery, he heads downstairs and tries to convince his parents that it's not a trick. He drinks a glass of orange juice, which to the astonishment of his parents, seems to make a "spoon float in the air." After a brief argument with his mother, Bobby is told to stay at home until his parents get back from work (his mother is an English professor, and his father a scientist). After his parents are gone, Bobby heads to the library, bundled up to conceal his secret invisible self, and after a brief walk around, he hurriedly leaves, bumping into a girl. His scarf comes off so he's scared she will freak out. He helps to retrieve her things, and realizes she's blind when he hands her back her cane. Upon returning home, he gets in trouble because he left the house. His parents leave to get dinner and Bobby watches TV and takes a nap. When he wakes up, the TV says that there was a major three car crash. He sees one of the cars is his family's car. The police then come to his door and check on him. After they leave Bobby goes to the hospital to see his parents. When he gets there he takes off his clothes (so he can be invisible) and goes to find his parents. He can only find his Mom. After talking to his Mom he uses money she gave him to get a taxi and he goes home. He returns to the library the next day. He goes naked this time, and stumbles upon the blind girl in a listening room. He enters the room with her permission and they start talking. He learns that her name is Alicia, and befriends her. Together, they try to find the 'cure' for his predicament. Part of Bobby's journey to become visible involves invading the Sears-Roebuck corporate headquarters. During which he steals a list of names of people who previously complained to Sears-Roebuck about a "bad blanket". Bobby uses this list to locate Sheila Borden, who became invisible a few years prior to the events in the book. She tells him never to tell anyone who she is. Bobby tells Alicia, however. Later Bobby instant messages Alicia. Bobby wants to give up on finding a cure, but Alicia has a bright idea. She tells him maybe if he gets under the blanket again, his problem will be reversed. Bobby crawls under the blanket. He awakens to find several loud voices. Ms. Pagett, his mother, and a random agent come into his room. Bobby doesn't realize that he is visible now, with several people staring at him naked. He quickly covers up. And his mom says that he came back from his extended trip to Florida the night before. His dad is happy that he is back, but is mad he didn't think before acting. Later he goes to tell Alicia the news. She doesn't take it well, feeling that Bobby doesn't need her anymore. Bobby goes home and tries calling and instant messaging her. Finally, she replies with a poem. Bobby goes over to her house to tell her how much he loves her.
- Bobby Phillips - Main character and narrator of the story, who wakes up one morning and finds that he is invisible
- Alicia Van Dorn - A very pretty blind girl whose father is a professor
- Dr. Phillips - Bobby's father, who is supremely focused on the scientific side of things
- Mrs. Phillips - Bobby's mother, who grows protective of Bobby and frustrated with the social worker over the story
- Mrs. Van Dorn - Alicia's mother
- Dr. Van Dorn - Alicia's dad, a professor
The book won the 2005 Middle School/Junior High California Young Reader Medal.