Andrew Clements has added another great middle grade novel to his list of successful titles. LOST AND FOUND is a sure winner.
Identical twins fascinate us. It seems amazing to look so much like someone else that people can't tell the difference. There are fantastic tales of switching places, having their own special form of communication, feeling one another's pain, and reading each other's mind. All that is intriguing to those who are not twins, but when you are an identical twin, there are many times when you wish you were one of a kind.
Jay and Ray are entering the sixth grade at a new school, and each is feeling the frustration that their new classmates will not be able to tell them apart. Jay will be Ray, and Ray will be Jay more than they care to think about. However, things don't go as expected when Ray comes down with a cough and a fever that keep him at home on the first day of school.
In their homeroom class, Jay is surprised when only his name is called off by the teacher. Shouldn't Ray be called right after him? As the day continues, all the teachers do the same. No one mentions Ray at all. It is not until Jay accidentally notices a blue file with his name on it that looks twice as thick as everyone else's that he realizes the two files have been combined. The school seems to have no idea that his twin brother Ray even exists.
As soon as Jay gets home after school, he tells Ray about his interesting discovery. By then Jay has enjoyed one entire day not being a twin. He's even worked out a plan that would allow both boys to experience that wonderful feeling of being one of a kind. They can take turns attending school. One can go and one can stay at home. What can go wrong?
Knowing that they can't keep up the ruse forever, they agree to try it for as long as possible. There will be consequences when they are caught, but both decide it is worth the risk. Little do they know, by pretending to be one another, they must be more alike than ever before.
LOST AND FOUND is an entertaining story guaranteed to hold the interest of the 9-12 age group. Clements has a way of making the story sound like it could be happening right in the reader's own classroom. In addition to humor and suspense, there are opportunities for good classroom discussion including plot predictions, cause and effect relationships, and decision-making consequences. Whether inside or outside the classroom, LOST AND FOUND is a fun read.show more