The Amanda Project: invisible i

Book review by
Debra Bogart, Common Sense Media
The Amanda Project: invisible i Book Poster Image
Compelling, quirky onion of a mystery.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Urges readers to read closely and search for clues; the mystery encourages creative thinking and the related Web site encourages creative writing and imagination.

Positive Messages

Amanda's actions are mysterious but appear to be positive. Plus the importance of family and friends is key.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character, Callie, and the missing girl, Amanda, are smart, caring, and creative. Amanda's friendship leads Callie to the confidence she needs to quit being friends with the superficial and mean "i" girls. Her missing mother is a gifted astronomer. Her new friends, a boy and a girl, are both independent, self-aware, and mature.

Violence

In a hit and run accident, a 14-year-old girl "borrows" her parents' car and hits an acquaintance on a bicycle. There is some minor vandalism.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The book jacket promotes the interactive Amanda Project Web site. While the Web site promotes creativity it also advertises the book and the 9 books to follow in the series.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character's mother disappeared months earlier and in despair her father starts drinking and becomes irresponsible. After being confronted by her, he does stop drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite the apparent commercialism of a series of 10 books tied to a Web site that promotes their purchase, this is an excellent book by a talented writer. Each book in the series will have a different author, all writing under the pen name of Stella Lennon (this one is written by Melissa Kantor). Because of that, the quality of the subsequent titles may change. Complex themes are age appropriate and thought provoking. Besides a hit-and-run accident by a 14-year-old driver and one parent who drinks too much, the characters are very positive.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byKristils January 5, 2010

Great for kids 12+

I thought it was a great book. I cannot wait for the 2nd 1!
Teen, 14 years old Written byluisbaby January 25, 2010
Teen, 14 years old Written by_saldana_ November 3, 2009

What's the story?

Callie and two other random ninth-graders are called to the vice-principal’s office to explain an act of vandalism -- or give up the girl who did it. The girl who did it, Amanda, has disappeared only months after arriving at their school, but she left many messages behind. As they pursue why she implicated them they discover many lies. Convinced that the lies had a higher purpose of uniting them, they seek more clues, and the truth about where Amanda has gone.

Is it any good?

The writing and the book design are both beautiful. Main characters are smart, resilient, and optimistic -- Kantor’s dialogue is spot on, and the characters will resonate with readers. Callie’s life is a roller coaster, and yet her new-found friendships empower her. Amanda’s disappearance seems to lead to more secrets and more revelations at the same time, and Callie finds the strength, and the support, to make some big changes in her life. Courage leads to confrontations that help many people; but Amanda is still missing.

This is a cliffhanger that will have readers anxiously awaiting the next book, and the Web site may inspire them creatively.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Amanda wanted to bring Callie together with her two new friends.

  • Does the intent behind Amanda's actions justify the results (detention for Callie and two others)? How about the anxiety and worry she causes them?

  • Why does Callie drop her old friends, and is she right?

  • Does it help Callie or hurt her to keep the secret about her missing mother?

  • What is the biggest mystery in the book?

Book details

For kids who love friendship tales and mysteries

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