Things Hoped For

( 79 )

Overview

Seventeen-year-old Gwen is preparing to audition for New York City’s top music schools when her grandfather mysteriously disappears, leaving Gwen only a phone message telling her not to worry. But there’s nothing more stressful than practicing for her auditions, not knowing where her grandfather is, and being forced to lie about his whereabouts when her insistent great-uncle demands an audience with him. Then Gwen meets Robert, also in town for music auditions, and the two pair up to brave the city without ...

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Overview

Seventeen-year-old Gwen is preparing to audition for New York City’s top music schools when her grandfather mysteriously disappears, leaving Gwen only a phone message telling her not to worry. But there’s nothing more stressful than practicing for her auditions, not knowing where her grandfather is, and being forced to lie about his whereabouts when her insistent great-uncle demands an audience with him. Then Gwen meets Robert, also in town for music auditions, and the two pair up to brave the city without supervision. As auditions approach and her great-uncle becomes more aggressive, Gwen and Robert make a startling discovery. Suddenly Gwen’s hopes are turned upside down, and she and Robert are united in ways neither of them could have foretold. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Gwen already has a lot on her mind; her violin auditions at Juilliard are fast approaching. But when her beloved grandfather disappears from his New York home, she can't stop worrying. Then others things start to happen. A truly creepy great-uncle begins making visits; she spots a mysterious stranger; and then her new friend Robert tells her a story about something he saw that is even stranger than these weird experiences. Before she knows it, Gwen and her musician friend are catapulted into the adventure of their young lives.
Publishers Weekly
Clements hits no false notes in this beguiling sequel to Things Not Seen. Narrator Gwen left her West Virginia home two years earlier to live with her ailing grandfather in Manhattan to attend a music academy on scholarship. The disciplined 17-year-old plays her violin many hours each day, practicing for auditions for a prestigious music college. But her attention is diverted when she receives a phone message from Grampa, who says he is going away for awhile and that Gwen should carry on and tell no one about his disappearance especially his brother (who co-owns the building in which he and Gwen live and is trying to pressure Grampa into selling it). After she meets Robert (the temporarily invisible Bobby from Things Not Seen), Gwen senses she has found a kindred spirit in this kind, trumpet-playing teen who shares her musical aspirations. She tells him her secret and, after the two notice a man's shadow that has no visible body casting it, Robert confides to her the story of his experience turning invisible. The novel's mysterious strain reaches a crescendo when Robert, in a heartstopping scene, opens the basement freezer looking for steaks and finds something else instead. In her credible, likable voice, Gwen observes that she wants her complicated story to have a tidy ending with "that wonderful last burst of symphonic harmony." This haunting novel's denouement has just that. Not since Frindle has Clements's writing achieved such near perfect pitch. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Agent, Writers House. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson
Gwen is a senior in one of the best music high schools in the nation. She is living with her grandfather in New York City and has a promising musical career. One day just before Gwen's auditions for one of the top music universities, Gwen's grandfather disappears. This is where Gwen's adventures truly begin. This realistic novel is thought provoking for all ages. The story takes the reader through all the emotions including happiness, jealousy, longing, love, grief, and fear. The book talks about difficult topics, including suicide, disabilities, and family circumstances. Parental discretion should be used when reading the book with younger children. This multi-level story is well written and will entrance the reader on page one. Clements does a great job of amalgamating realism and fantasy to keep the reader in suspense until the very last page. This novel could be used for discussion and learning during English, Psychology, or Sociology classes.
KLIATT
Gwen, age 17, has come to live with her grandfather in Manhattan so she can prepare for violin auditions at the top music schools there. Then her grandfather mysteriously disappears, leaving her a message not to tell anyone he's gone, and she meets Robert, a teenager who is also in town for music auditions. Out shopping one day, they see the shadow of a man without being able to see the man himself, and Robert tells her it's an invisible man; he himself has had experience being invisible (related in Things Not Seen), he finally explains. Meanwhile, Gwen's great-uncle, desperate for money, is trying to contact her grandfather, to get him to sell the house, and the unscrupulous invisible man sees an opportunity to profit. A discovery in the basement freezer brings events to a surprising climax. Those who enjoyed Things Not Seen will want to read this sequel, but it can stand on its own. It's not quite as gripping or successful a tale, since the invisible person isn't the narrator this time around and it doesn't entirely revolve around the always-fascinating idea of what it might be like to be invisible. However, there is considerable suspense, and Gwen's strong feelings for music and her family are clearly conveyed. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Penguin, Philomel, 176p., $16.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
VOYA - Florence H. Munat
Gwen, a West Virginia native, has spent her two last years of high school living with her grandfather in his Manhattan brownstone to attend a performing-arts high school and take private violin lessons. Grampa has even installed a soundproof room in his basement so Gwen can pursue her passion anytime. But only days before her college auditions at three prestigious music schools, Gwen receives a mysterious phone message from Grampa saying that he must go away for awhile and she must not tell anyone. Above all, she must keep practicing. When she meets Robert, a trombonist from Chicago in New York for his auditions, they share secrets. She tells him about Grampa's disappearance, and he reveals that a few years ago, he became invisible. Readers will recognize that Robert is "Bobby" from Clements's novel, Things Not Seen (Philomel, 2002/VOYA February 2002), and he still has his blind girlfriend Alicia. Plot complications occur when Gwen's great-uncle arrives and angrily insists on speaking to his brother, when Robert perceives an invisible man in a museum who shows up at the brownstone and harasses them, and when a discovery is made in the basement that necessitates calling the police. The story is fast-paced and believable, and it creates a portrait of two teens devoted to their music and the sacrifices demanded of such a life. The threat posed by the invisible man serves to heighten suspense, but it is more of an intrusion than an enrichment of the plot. Although they live apart, Gwen and her parents are close, and their relationship forms a major part of the novel.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-The protagonist in Things Not Seen (Philomel, 2002) becomes a helpful friend to 17-year-old Gwen, who has been living with her grandfather in Manhattan while attending music school and preparing for intense auditions for college. Then, just after her grandfather and his brother have a fight about money, her grandfather disappears, leaving a confusing and cryptic note. Robert, also a musician, and Gwen pair up to solve the mystery when an uncomfortable reminder of his past shows up. The plot is quick, and readers will identify with Gwen's feelings of being torn between responsibility to herself and to her future, and her need to find her grandfather. Gwen's story is a good mix of mystery, friendship, and fantasy, with a touch of creepiness that will make the most sense to those who have read Things Not Seen.-Sherry Quinones, Frederick County Public Libraries, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Gwen is from Charleston, W.Va., but she has been studying violin in New York City and living with her grandfather. Grampa's health is poor, and his younger brother needs him to agree to sell the apartment house they jointly own. This threatens to shatter Gwen's concentration just as she comes up to her auditions for Julliard. Then Gwen's grandfather vanishes, leaving cryptic recorded instructions for her to follow. Gwen dodges Great Uncle Hank with the help of Robert, a trumpet student in town for auditions of his own. Grampa's body turns up, the police get involved and a sinister invisible stranger complicates everything. This companion to Things Not Seen (2002) is a disappointment in comparison. Though some of the plot centers on Robert's earlier invisibility, that part resolves itself off-stage, and it's the story of the missing Grampa that is harder to believe. Endless nattering about the auditions may hold some appeal for musical students, and the heavily embroidered New York references might attract others, but most will hope for it all to be over. (Fiction. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142410738
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/17/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,337
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Clements lives in Massachusetts.

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Interviews & Essays

Gwen is a very headstrong, motivated young girl. Were you anything like her growing up?

The short answer is no. I was an easygoing kid. I was the one who took two piano lessons and then begged my way out because all that practicing was eating into my putter-around-in-the-woods time. I don't think I met anyone similar to Gwen until I got to high school, although both of my sisters were remarkably bright and focused young women. But girls like Gwen, who already have a clear sense of what they want to do in life, who have that drive and focus and unbending determination, that's different. And more recently, more than one of our sons have become serious musicians, and one became involved in the Boston youth orchestra scene during his high school years. Watching him and his friends prepare for their college auditions at top music schools in New York and elsewhere provided most of the insights into that scene and Gwen's frame of mind.

What would you like young readers to learn from Gwen?

In both Things Not Seen and Things Hoped For the characters have to grapple with fear. Characters have to trust each other, and at the same time become more self-reliant. The characters recognize the power of love and unselfishness, and ultimately become more confident, more certain that being kind and good yields practical, dependable results. All I ever hope is that readers can see themselves or parts of themselves in the characters and get some insights into the process of establishing their own identity. Have I tried to write a hopeful story that emphasizes the possibility of doing good things in this life? Absolutely.

b>Gwen gains a new appreciation for her family as the story goes on. Do you think it takes leaving home for a person to realize how important family is?

I think most kids who've had a good family experience become aware of that, become grateful for that even before striking out on their own. But there does come a day when it becomes clear that those home benefits were not automatic or accidental. Those benefits were there because of the fierce love and constant care and unyielding effort of a parent or two. And there's a moment when that truth snaps into focus, and a young person looks back and sees how crucial that foundation has been--and then looks ahead and realizes that the responsibility for sustaining those values has now shifted. Gwen is at that tipping point.

Robert had been invisible for a period of time and in Things Hoped For he and Gwen encounter another invisible person. Of all supernatural occurrences why did you choose to make them invisible?

No one--or no one we know of--has had the actual experience of being invisible. But nearly everyone has felt neglected or ignored, passed over or rejected at some point. Invisibility is not a new idea. It's as old as humanity's first thinking about God, and it's a theme that's been present in literature for centuries. Recently, there's H.G. Wells' classic novel of the mad scientist who becomes even crazier because of the condition; there's Ralph Ellison's use of the metaphor to explore racism; and there are a number of movies that exploit this idea--some for comedy and some for thrills. In Things Not Seen I tried to imagine what the onset of unintentional invisibility would do to the life and thinking of a fairly normal fifteen year old kid. And in Things Hoped For, we meet a character who had the same condition occur, but whose response to it was radically different from Robert's. Think of all the words and phrases linked to visual experience that people use to describe their lives: Seeing something in a new light; getting a clearer view; having a vision; a sudden insight; a new vista opens up; blind to the problem; out of focus, and so on. Seeing, not seeing, not being seen--this is rich metaphorical territory, especially as young people--and everyone else as well--work to get a clearer sense of identity. I think every good story ought to rise to the level where it deals with questions of identity.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I like Jane Austen, Mark Twain, E. B. White, W.B.Yeats, Kipling, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Wise Brown, Hemingway, A.A. Milne. I admire some of John Grisham's work because I'm a big fan of well-crafted plots. Before I started writing longer fiction and actually had time to read more current children's and YA books, I read a lot of Avi's books along with my kids. I love Madeline L'Engle's work. I loved Edward Bloor's Tangerine. And then way off on the mountaintops there's the King James Bible, and the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare, the Oxford English Dictionary. But every list is too short.

What are you reading now?

I'm between books, which is really the only time I read--sad but true. I read The Kite Runner. I read State of Fear by Michael Crichton because I'd heard the uproar about the environmental ideas back when the book was first published. And on the recommendation of one of my sons, I'm reading A Painted House by John Grisham.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Read, think, write. Writing is hard work for everyone. And writing well is very hard work. The secret ingredient in the very best writing is time. The difference between writing that's okay and writing that's truly good amounts to small adjustments, fine tuning. And if you don't put in the time, you'll never reach that point where you begin to see what those fine adjustments should be. And don't accept the popular concept of writer's block. The truth is there's no such thing. A person with writer's block has accepted the idea that nothing could possibly happen next--which is simply not true. It is a fact of time and eternity that something ALWAYS happens next. And the writer's job is sit down, pick up the pencil or put fingers to keyboard, and make something happen next. Writing in that somewhat forced mode may not yield the perfect or the right next step in the story or article or novel, but it will lead you to the right idea. And you'll have proven that there's no blockage.

Have you started working on next book? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I'm about to begin the third book (the final book, I think) in the Things Not Seen sequence. All I know so far is that the story will be told by Alicia, who's blind, and the action will pick up where Things Hoped For ends. With Robert getting ready for college, Alicia has to think about her own future, and change is always scary. When it comes to the future, everyone's more or less blind. As with the other books, invisibility will be an element. But I think the real focus is always identity.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book!

    This book is about this 17 year old girl Gwen.Gwen is geting ready for her audition for New York city's best music school. she comes to find that her grandfather has left her a message on the phone that tells her that he is gone and she should not worry about him. Then Gwen meets Robert. As the auditions are geting closer and closer Robert and Gwen try to solve the problem of her missing grandfather.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    Chelsea Swiger's Review

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements.
    Title of review:
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 3

    Introduction
    The overview of this book is about a girl who has trouble dealing with her grandpa going away, and has worries about her upcoming music auditions.
    I think the people who would like to possibly read this book are some teenagers who don't really like action and thriller books. It can also be for senior citizens who like a calm, more mature book.
    I evaluated this book the way I did because it wasn't that interesting. It was actually kind of boring in some parts. On the other hand I did like it because it made me wonder what was going to happen next.


    Description and summary of main points
    The summary of this book is about a seventeen year old girl who is in love with music. She plays the violin. Gwen is originally from West Virginia, but she gets invited to come live with her grandpa in Manhattan. She tries out for three schools Julliard, Manhattan, and The New England Conservatory in Boston. Gwen is hoping to get accepted from one of these schools. First she has to try out, and the pressure is really on. She has no problems until she comes home to her grandpa's house one day, and there's a message on the answering machine. He tells her he's going away for awhile, and doesn't know how long he'll be gone, only that he's going. Now she has to live with no one but herself, worry about him and the upcoming auditions, and make new friends.

    Evaluation
    The plot of this book is that Gwen has to handle pressure of getting into one of the three schools she has auditioned for, and deal with her grandpa's absence as well.
    The characters of the book are Gwen, Grandpa, Uncle Hank, Marcy, and Robert. These are good characters and it helped me understand the character's emotions and their personality.
    The theme of the book is to teach readers how to deal with school and family issues, and it shows how to handle the pressure that is put on you.
    The style of this book is kind of laid back. It is calm and it is kind of boring but I think the author did a good job on describing all of the book's aspects. The style is helpful because it is very detailed and skilled.
    The setting of this story takes place in Manhattan and New York. The story takes place I think in the fall or spring time, almost.
    I think the purpose and the goals of this book were achieved.
    The comparison of this book to other books would be the same to me, especially if they're in the same genre.




    Conclusion
    My thesis is that the book was skilled and detailed but in some points it was kind of boring. I only liked a few parts of it.
    The brief summary of the book would be when Gwen auditions for the schools, and has to deal with the struggle on her own, and how her grandpa goes away for a while.
    My evaluation of the book is that it was pretty interesting. I kept saying to myself, "what was going to happen next". It was a little boring though. I think it was a little more mature and grown up then
    I'd liked it to be.

    Your final review
    (none)

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Love

    I love this book!!!!!!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    AWESOME!!!!

    i loved this book i read it over and over!!!! it was awesome and id recommend it to anyone!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Cool

    Great book. Loved it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Not As Good as the First- However, still worth the time

    The book Things Hoped For, seemed dull and slightly bad compared to its predecessor, Things Not Seen. Things Not Seens' plot was based mostly around the theme of invisibility, however, Things Hoped For's plot was based mostly on a mystery much the mystery in Things Hoped For. The ideas seemed unreal towards the end and Gwens reactions seemed as if they were written by an average fifth grader writing a short stoy for an assigment. Her reactions were VERY unrealistic to some very strange and odd-occuring events that took place. However, the beginning of this book had a great theme, plot and mystery. When the book got to about page 100 all this changed.

    In conclusion, I reccomend this book. Only because it was very entertaining and the beginning was very well written. The series will not seem complete if you didnt read the middle volume as well. Read the book, it's quick and worth your time but youu will be disapointed if you were expecting a follow up as well written as Things Not Seen.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Before you read this one you need to read the first 1 Things Noy Seen, and then after you read this 1 you have 2 read Things that are. They make more sence in order!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Smile

    I love you andrew clements you rock






    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    5 of 5

    This book is great. You need to be old enough to respect it, I read it in 6th grade and it was super good. 6th grade up would be the best years to read it. :)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    Hwo many page are in tjings not seen

    I want to buy it but i wantvto know hpw many pages

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    awesome!!!

    i luvd this book its the best book ive read in a long time,now onto things not seen (i read things hoped for before that so im on things not seen)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    I love this book.

    It was fatastic and really cool. I play cello and for a music lover this really hit the spot lol :3

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    LOVE!!!!!

    I read this 4 years ago and am still obsessed with it. It is short but a really good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    hi

    luv this book. u should read it too as well as the other two books

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    good book

    very excitig, great read for a

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    Gwen and Robert

    Robert Phillips (Bobby) from the first book, Things Not Seen, appears in Things Hoped For. He meets Gwen from the second book, Things Hoped For. They met in Summer Camp when they were practicing their music. Robert plays the trumpet and Gwen plays Violin. I play the Viola.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Good, But Not As Good As Things Not Seen

    Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements, was a pretty decent book. It wasn't as good as the first book, but it was still pretty decent. The only problems that I had with the book were that it had nothing to do with the first book, except for having Robert in the book, until page 150, and that if I didn't know as much about the violin, or music in general as I do, I probably would have hated this book. I suggest reading this sequel to Things Not Seen, only if you enjoy music, or are really dedicated to the series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    Things Hoped For

    Dear internet reader you will be pleased with this book. It is completly worth it it has mystery, drama, romance, everything you can imagine you MUST read this book, but first you need to read things not seen first and than read this. At the end of this book you will be suprised what will happen. now i am on things that are, the continuation, i MUST get this boo. trust me any andrew clements book that you read will be absolutly amazing.
    keep reading

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    AGAIN, EXCELLENT!

    Second book to Things Not Seen, this book was as good as the first! It even puts some christianity in it, whitch is real cool! I love how it makes fiction (turning invisible) so real, like it could happen! love it!!! get it!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    Find Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Things Hoped For was very interesting story. I couldn¿t put it down at the end. But the begging was a little boring. Things hoped for is a mystery book. The mystery is about when Gwen¿s grandfather left. I didn¿t like when she found her grandfather in the ¿ Find out when you read the book. I liked the book when because when she traveled from West Virginia and went to New York in Manhattan. Otherwise I liked the book for many reasons.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews

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