Seven year old Millie Bird was curious about Dead Things even before her dad died. She kept a book of them. When Millie’s dad dies her mother struggles to cope. Before long Millie finds herself spending far too long waiting for her mum at the department store. Hours turn to days. She befriends an old man, Karl the Touch Typist, who gives her some food and drink. Karl too has lost someone.
Karl and Millie end up on the run from the store security guard and when Millie still can’t find her mum her escape soon becomes a mission to find Millie’s mum. She is joined on this mission by Agatha Panther, the old widow next door who yells everything and hasn’t left her house since the death of her husband.
The unlikely trio travel together across Australia in search of Millie’s mum, but also on a journey of self discovery and of learning to live again after losing a significant someone.
Lost & Found is a lovely novel which deals with issues of loss, grief and abandonment in a thoughtful manner and without being too morose about such serious subject matter. I like that the story is grounded in reality and reflective of some of the harsher realities of life, but without being too dark about it. There are some wonderfully funny moments and I think all in all it offers a message of hope. There is life after loss. As Millie says, You are all going to die. It’s Ok.
In this regard I think Lost & Found would be a good book for young adult readers to be exposed in terms of opening up discussions about loss and grief and abandonment, although there are some sexual references and adult content that might be an issue for some.
Some parts of this book took a bit of getting used to. For example all of the dialogue is in italics. Agatha yells almost everything. Millie writes walking poems which are dotted through her sections. But overall these quirks just add to the atmosphere of the text.
I enjoyed reading Lost & Found; the characters were very endearing and entertaining. I enjoyed having the three different points of view alternating. There are also some really nice minor characters dotted throughout the narrative, my favourite being the young boy Jeremy or ‘Captain Everything’.
I would recommend this if you are wanting a thought provoking read which deals with serious content while maintaining a steady stream of humourous content. It’s not a fluffy read but it isn’t too intense or serious either, which is a good balance for a book to have.
My Rating: 3/5
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