Things Hoped For

Things Hoped For

by Andrew Clements


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Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements

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. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142410738
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/17/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 278,619
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Andrew Clements lives in Massachusetts.


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.

Customer Reviews

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Things Hoped For 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
sweetpea217913 More than 1 year ago
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.
Hannah Geelhart More than 1 year ago
i loved this book i read it over and over!!!! it was awesome and id recommend it to anyone!!!
ChelsCS More than 1 year ago
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)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love you andrew clements you rock
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that without a doubt, the prequel to this book, Things Not Seen, is my favorite book of all time. It's so relatable, even if the main character is invisible. I was happy when I saw a sequel, but let me tell you, it's not as good. The sequel was pretty good. I didn't like the fact that the POV was different this time. And I didn't like the fact that invisibility becomes a sub-plot in this book. In other words, the plot isn't all about invisibility. I just found out that there will be another sequel, Things that Are, and will gladly read it. Hopefully, it will recapture the same magic Things Not Seen did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Things Hoped For is a mystery book by Andrew Clements. 'Grandfather Grandfather I'm home,' Gwen says. She searches the house but can't find Grandfather anywhere. This book is about the disappearance of Gwen's grandfather. The problem is her violin tryouts and she is alone in New York City. Gwen met Robert and told him about her Grandfather. The message is practice makes perfect. The reason is Gwen always practiced her violin for at least an hour every night. She knew if she did not practice she would not make it into the institute. She was a very dedicated violin student. Things Hoped For is one of my favorite stories. I partly like it because it is Andrew Clements and partly because it is a mystery. If you like mystery books you will love this book. To find ouut what happens to Gwen and her grandfather you will have to read Things Hoped For.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book things hoped for is an outstanding book. Clements put alot of emotion into this book and it really shows. Things Hoped For is a book that takes you through good times and bad. I think that this book shows some of the important things in life. This is one of the best books that I have read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love that book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is simply wonderful and it tells a good but kind of sad story. I love all of Andrew Clements' book and would reccommend it to those ages 10 and up. Thing Not Seen and Things That Are are also good books to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is funny sad and creepy at some point or another but it is just the thing i was looking for. Read Things Hoped For and the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He name is Gwen. Not "Gweni". Duh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this a 5 star!!!!! This was a really good book its about a girl named gweni. She moved to new york with her grandfather to do a bunch of music auditions because she plays the violin. When she goes to the coffe shop one day, she meets a boy named robert, ( he plays the trumpet ) robert and gweni quickly make friends and gweni invits him over then they each share a sshocking secret about each other gweni shares her secret about her and her grandpa and what hapeend to her grandpa which is really scary and what robert and his blind girlfriend are keeping a secret. I recamend this book to people who like scary, music, mystery stuff. People who are in mabe 4th grade and up could read this book. Sinserly, Haylee Baker
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to read this but i really am busy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was mysterious. When Gwen's (The main Character) Grandpa disappears you think up hundreds of ways he disappeared. But what really did is shocking. Gwen also meats Robert, and someone with special abilities that are rare. This book is so boring in the beginning, but don't let that keep you from reading it. I almost abandoned it myself. Thanks for reading my review. This book is perfect for people who LOVE mysteries!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this the second one or the third one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an amazing book. I couldnt believe it at all