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The Unseen

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  296 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Xandra Hobson has always been fascinated by magic. So when she rescues a beautiful wounded bird, she is convinced that the glowing white feather it leaves behind must be magical. When she brings the feather to school, she is surprised to find that Belinda is interested in it, too. Belinda is a weird girl whom everybody makes fun of. Xandra doesn’t want to be seen with her, ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 23rd 2009 by Yearling (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 07, 2007 Kate rated it liked it
Recommended to Kate by: Read for Children's Literature portfolio
Xandra hates her huge, gifted family, and spends most of her time exploring the forbidden forest around her house and rescuing animals. After rescuing a white bird, Xandra finds the bird missing and only a feather remaining. The weird girl at school teaches her that the feather is a Key into the Unseen. When Xandra uses the Key, she begins to see scary shadowy creatures. Eventually Xandra figures out that she sees scary creatures because she has been mean-spirited to her family and others, and o ...more
Not so great. I remember loving The Changeling, and this seemed a watered down version. Too much exegesis in dialog--I want to believe that young adult books don't actually require that. ZKS's prolific, so I guess she was bound to strike out sometime. Or I'm 30 and can't understand.
This was a disappointing outing from an author I normally really enjoy. It's got promise: Xandra, who loves animals and feels out of place in her large, talented family, finds a beautiful feather after helping an injured bird. Belinda, the "weird girl" at her private school, sees the feather and pronounces it a Key that can open the wielder to magic. She shows Xandra how to use it, but Xandra quickly discovers that the previously invisible creatures that the Key reveals to her are not all friend ...more
May 30, 2013 Desarae rated it it was ok
The Unseen By Zilpha Keatley Snyder is about a girl named Xandra that finds a key to the unseen. Xandra finds a key and doesn't know what it does so a girl named Belinda helps her. Even though that Xandra knows that Belinda is a nerd she has Belinda help her find out what the key does. Xandra knows more about the key now and she is not allowed to use it any more said Belinda so does she uses the key listen to Belinda? Xandra learns more about the key but the is the key dangerous or safe?

I think
This book was mad good. I think that the theme of this book would be don't listen to what people say. you should listen to what you think is right and follow your heart of whats right.this girl name Xandra Hobson has always been fascinated by magic. she was going around a forest one day and she found a wounded bird. So when she rescues a beautiful wounded bird, she is convinced that the glowing white feather leaves behind must be magical. When she brings the feather to school, she is surprised t ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Despair Speaking
Apr 27, 2013 Despair Speaking rated it liked it
What I liked about this book:

>The concept is interesting. A world unseen unless you have a Key... it's full of possibilities.
>The feeling of not fitting in and being overshadowed is felt relateable and everyone has experienced one way or another.
>The animals were cute and I'm amazed Xandra managed to do all that.

What I didn't like about this book:

>Xandra is whiny, sullen, and sometimes downright petty. Sure, I can understand why she feels that way, but there are situations where I ca
Nov 07, 2010 Lacey rated it it was amazing
I think that the book "the unseen" is a good science fiction. The book is about a parallel world. Xandra goes into the forbidden forest and the hunters come. She hears a gun fire and the bullet hits a white bird. She does not see the bird go down but she see's the wound when the bird comes close. She has to hurry and make sure the bird or herself does not get hit. She picks up the bird and takes it to the stream to wipe the blood off. The hunters dogs soon smell the prey (the bird) and start to ...more
Carrie Rzeppa
Jan 30, 2014 Carrie Rzeppa rated it it was ok
I started reading this book to my son as a read-aloud because it is another story by the author of "The Egypt Game," which he really enjoyed. However, he gave up on this story about one third of the way through. Not being one to NOT finish a book, I powered through it. The premise of the story is interesting- an awkward girl finds a magic feather that is a "key" to another world- but it takes so long to really get going that I think the author might lose her audience along the way. If your reade ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Echo rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-supernatural
I have always loved the abilities of Zilpha Keatley Snyder and this book didn't disappoint. A story of a regular girl who discovers and rather extraordinary world hiding in plain sight, this story also managed to be about friendship and learning to love our family in spite of their faults. This is an easy read that would be perfect for emerging readers who are just starting chapter books or readers who need to learn a little about not being a miserable tween. I'd recommend 8-12ish.
Michael Avery
A fun young adult read. The author likes to end many paragraphs with incomplete sentences, but I think this is for her young audience who wouldn't mind. The story was riveting about a girl who finds a feather which is a magic key that enables her to see unseen spirits and beings who are around us all the time. Good for antisocial teenagers.
May 13, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, surreal, psychic
When I went back and reread it, it wasn't as good as I'd remembered. It's still a great book, though!! Read it when you're young, so the two dimensional characters and stilted writing style don’t annoy you.
Oct 19, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: didn-t-finish

It didn't grab me and I guess it's been a while since I was an angsty preteen, but I just didn't connect with the main character. A shame, because I had really looked forward to reading this and now I don't remember why.
Sep 21, 2010 Lokien rated it did not like it
Not a book i would recomend or read again. A plot that goes nowhere, a seriously disfunctional family that show no sighns of changing and a non ending, all things that get a HUGE black mark in my book.
Mar 13, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing
I loved it! A lot of her books deal with characters who are very real, and very angry. Xandra is like that & I can really relate to her. She's changed a lot by the end of the book & is really starting to appreciate her family. Short but a terrific read.
Sep 19, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this but there wasn't really a coherent plot. And the idea of there being an Unseen world all around us never got more than a few pages of mention, making the book seem pointless.
Jun 08, 2009 Jan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This was a 'young adult' book and was written in a style appropriate to that audience. I was unaware of that fact when I requested it from the library. An interesting look at family and other relationships from a pre-teen's point of view. Enjoyed the magic/fantasy aspects.
Jul 28, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
I'm between books till our next trip tot he library, so I grabbed this off the kids' shelves...they won't mind.
It's OK. Seems like a short story sketch that isn't totally flushed out yet.
Jul 10, 2014 Yasmin added it
She could have made this book really interesting, and for a while it was, but then it started to get all "Eh." The main character was super-annoying, anyuway. Typical seventh-grader.
May 17, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok
Something about Snyder's books leaves me unsettled. Hmmm. I still don't know if I should recommend them to my daughter or not. She doesn't get "unsettled" as easy as I do. Any ideas?
Mar 23, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4-6 graders
I read this book before adding it to my classroom library. I loved it and the students really do too.
Oct 15, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it
it seems that it would be a good idea to go in to the unseen world but really it was kind of a bad thing.

Cynthia Egbert
May 25, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
This was an interesting premise but the author did not round it out well and it left me feeling quite unsatisfied.
Lia Marcoux
Nov 05, 2015 Lia Marcoux rated it it was ok
A little heavy-handed I thought. I wish the story had begun around page 160...I started to like it there!
Jenny rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2011
Emrys rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2013
Debra Gastelum
Debra Gastelum rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2011
Wensday rated it liked it
May 24, 2012
Danielle Neldon
Danielle Neldon rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2011
Dec 05, 2010 Sabrina rated it did not like it
terrible book! so boring i fell asleep on page 1! NEVER READ THIS BOOK!!!!!
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game," "The Headless Cupid," and "The Witches of Worm," Zilpha Keatley Snyder began writing books for children in 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies," was published. Over the course of the career she completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for y ...more
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