Things Not Seen Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Things Not Seen

At first it seems like any other Tuesday. Throwing off his electric blanket, fifteen-year-old Bobby stumbles to the bathroom to shower. When he wipes the fog off the mirror to comb his hair he notices something is missing which is him. Bobby quickly finds out that the reality of being invisible is quite different from what is portrayed in movies and books. Only his mother and father can know and that means not school, not friends, no one. Not only is Bobby invisible, but he also is alone. His mother and father approach his new condition as they approach everything else in life. His physicist father attempts to dissect the problem as he would any other scientific anomaly, whereas Bobby's mother is likely to smother him with attention and orders. To his advantage it is winter so no one seems to notice when he escapes to the library covered by layers of clothing. Once there, he strips down and proceeds to stroll silently through the library until he meets Alicia, the one person who will not notice that he is invisible. It is because she is blind. Through Alicia Bobby learns that there is something worse than being invisible, and that is being made to feel invisible. Together they help each other work through their situations to find friendship and a new strength that they did not realize they possessed.
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The review of this Book prepared by Cory Miller

For fifteen-year-old Bobby Phillips, "being ignored" takes on a whole new meaning when he wakes up one morning and discovers he's become invisible! After convincing his parents he still exists, Bobby is forced to remain at home and keep his "condition" a secret. When his parents are in a car accident that leaves them hospitalized, however, Bobby journeys outside and winds up in the library. There he meets Alicia Van Dorn, a blind girl, with whom he eventually confides his secret.

Unfortunately, when Bobby's parents are released from the hospital, Bobby's continued absence prompts the State Department to investigate his disappearance. Alarmed that his condition might land his parents in jail, Bobby considers revealing himself to the world, but his parents stop him. Ultimately, to save Bobby's family and reclaim his life, Bobby and Alicia launch an investigation of their own, eventually discovering the truth behind Bobby's invisibility and a possible solution to his problem.

The review of this Book prepared by Michael Jung

Chapter Analysis of Things Not Seen

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   invisibility (scifi)

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen If magical mental powers:    -    Invisibility


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Things Not Seen

Andrew Clements Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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