Lost and Found by Andrew Clements
I love Andrew Clements. I wanted to be clear of my bias right from the start. I love teachers who are also authors or go onto become published authors. I particularly love introducing my fourth graders to an author that they can love as much as me. It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, Clements hits it right on the head for the intermediate aged reader. Lost and Found was not a disappointment. The story of twin boys who have moved to a new town was one I was interested in right away as there are FIVE sets of twins coming up into fourth grade this year in my relatively small town. I knew I was due to have one complete set and two partial sets (Isn’t that a yucky way to describe them? No wonder Jay and Ray did what they did!) within my classroom and already struggled with knowing which identical twin was which, not something I was proud of as I pride myself on knowing almost every child in the grade level.
Jay and Ray are constantly mistaken for each other and when the opportunity arises (a school clerical error-now those neverhappen) when they move to a new town to be one person, rather than a “set”, they decide to deal with the consequences later and try their plan to just be “one” person. The brothers take turns staying home sick from school and soon realize their plan is a little more complicated than getting to have every other day off to watch tv and goof off. The lies pile up quickly until…
In addition to the two main characters, there is a great character Mrs. Cardiff, school nurse! There is a hallmark adult in each of Clement’s novels that helps pull the story together in a way that makes it believable and Mrs. Cardiff is this novel’s adult.
Unlike Bernetta Wallflower, the boys do end up getting busted and having consequences galore. While dishonesty did not pay in this book, the issues identical twins deal with was given an original treatment and gives readers, as well as parents and teachers, something to think about in their relationships with twins.
Another successful Andrew Clements novel!
While my all time favorite happens to be The School Story, there is a whole site dedicated to Frindle, Clements first novel.
If you teach middle aged students and you don’t know Andrew Clements work you need to! I do feel he is the Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume of the decade so far.